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Full text of "Malaboch; or, Notes from my diary on the Boer campaign of 1894 against the chief Malaboch of Blaauwberg, district Zoutpansberg, South African Republic, to which is appended a synopsis of the Johannesburg crisis of 1896"

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iiiiiiiiii 1 

119 361 645 | 




on War, Revolution, and Peace 



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St. Dunstan's House, Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, E.C. 

J. C. JUTA & CO. 





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• ■ • 

• • 

• ■• 

• • • • 
%• ••• 

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is affectionately inscribeb 






In presenting the following account to the indulgence 
of the public, I am keeping a promise made to my 
comrades in the Malaboch compaign, who were kind 
enough to think that a published diary of events 
would be of interest, not only to those who were 
engaged in the expedition, but to a larger number 
who watched the proceedings of each day with 
anxiety, and who are deeply interested in South 
African affairs generally. 

The circumstances under which I accompanied the 
forces as chaplain require some explanation. 

The Bishop's choice lay between the Kev. J. W. 
Llewelyn (then in Maraisburg) and myself. 

The Kev. Canon Fisher, D.D., had also volunteered 
his services, but there were obstacles in the way 
which prevented his going. 

Being on the spot, and holding but a temporary 
appointment in Pretoria, the choice fell upon me. 
His Lordship had removed me from Fordsburg (in 
deference to my wishes) only a few days before the 
declaration of war. 

The success of my ministry amongst the troops (for 
which I have been, and shall always be humbly 


grateful) was chiefly due to the faithful prayers of 
friends and well-wishers. 

The sudden death of poor Tobias affected me in 
more ways than one. 

He was special correspondent for the Volkstem y 
Pretoria, and when writing his despatches used 
multigraph copying-books. He invariably read these 
despatches to me before sending them away, and 
promised, on our return to Pretoria, to present me 
with a complete English translation ; but his un- 
timely death prevented this arrangement. De- 
pending on these notes, I did not take such minute 
particulars as I should otherwise have done, and I 
am indebted to the Press for some details of engage- 
ments and incidents recorded herein which the doctor 
had better opportunity of obtaining than I had. I 
have to thank Mr. Mauritz Preller for supplying me 
with the copies of the Press. 

With regard to Mr. Anthony Vlotman's verbatim 
narrative, entitled " The Real Cause of the AVar," I 
am at variance with him upon one point. Mr. Vlot- 
man prefaces his statement by saying that Malaboch 
had never paid taxes since 1881. This, however, is 
open to question, as I have received information to 
the contrary from other, not less reliable, sources. 
Yet, be this as it may, the policy of the Government 
in subduing these petty chiefs is for the future good 
of the country, and the general advancement of the 
native races. 

As long as the power vested in the Government is 
used in bringing out the Kafirs from their strongholds 



of laziness to work for the advancement of all classes 
of industry in the State, so long will it have the 
countenance of enlightened men. 

It has been stated, in connection with the Johan- 
nesburg crisis, that the leaders of the Keform party 
were playing with fire, and knew not the possible 
consequences of their acts ; but it is fair to add that 
they knew the possible consequences of their acts 
with regard to commerce, as the following list will 
prove ; a relief fund having been opened and 
liberally subscribed to, with the view of compen- 
sating those poorer inhabitants of Johannesburg who 
might be injuriously affected in their commercial 
or other position in life by the movement : — 


The Consolidated Goldfields . . . 15,000 

S. Neumann & Co 10,000 

H. Eckstein & Co 10,000 

George Farrar 10,000 

BarnatoBros 10,000 

Lionel Phillips 5,000 

Abe Bailey 5,000 

Lace & Thompson . . . 5 , 000 

H.B.Marshall 2,000 

Lingham Timber Syndicate (Limited) . 1 , 000 

W.D.Davis 1,000 

Fehr& Dubois 1,000 

Making a total of. .75,000 

In conclusion, I must acknowledge my deep sense 
of gratitude to friends who- have helped in making 
this work un fait accompli. To Mrs. C. Bancroft, 
Miss Edythe E. Townsend, and Mr. Fred Neel, for 


rendering valuable artistic aid. Messrs. W. K. Pack- 
man, A- C. Alder, and C. F. Alston, for assisting in the 
wearisome task of transcription, I tender my sincere 
thanks. Particularly am I indebted to Mr. R. H. 
Willson, who wrote the whole of l Malaboch ' in its 
rough stage, from my dictation, in his residence, «' the 
house in Pilgrim's Creek," and to Mr. Dan Matthews, 
for his indefatigable labours in assisting in the 

Those who have compiled a similar work will 
understand the real value of such help. 

Situated, as I am, in the midst of a mining camp, 
where the population is scattered over an area of 
many miles, the calls made upon my time are varied 
and frequent ; consequently, I have not been able to 
devote that care I could have desired to the literary 
portion of the work. 

I, therefore, submit this volume to the lenient 
criticism of the reader. 




OIF TO THB WAB ....... 1 





a day's humtihg 20 











OVF TO THS WAB ....... 1 





a day's hotting 20 












ah interesting day 49 


THE F1B8T 8KIBMI8H . . . . .55 



















• •• 








































The Author .... 

The Chief, Malabooh 

The Right Rev. Henry Brougham Bousfibld 

D.D., First Bishop of Pretoria 
The House in Pilgrim's Creek, Pilgrims' Rest 

where "Malaboch" was written 
The Departure of the Pretoria Commando 
Commandant His Honour General P. J. Joubert 
Colonel Ferreira, C.M.G. 
Veld-Cornet Piet Kruger 
Commandant Malan 
Adjutant S. J. Eloff and Skrge ant-Major J 


Mess No. 2 

Mess No. 3 ..... . 

Lieutenant J. Schroeder 

The Pretoria Horse in front of Blaauwberg 

Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of toe 

Pretoria Town Contingent 
Mamatolla .... 
Pretoria Town Patrols . 
Trooper T. H. McArthur 
Lieutenant Holzer. 

Staats Artillery: Showing the Maxims . 
General View of Blaauwberg from the Pieters 

burg Laager ..... 
Burial of Burgher Nel — the First Funeral 
Rev. C. Sonntag's Residence . 
The Commandeered Prisoners and their Guards 
Staats Artillery Camp: Blaauwberg in Back 

ground .... 

To face]), xi 


















































Plan of proposed Blowing-up of Malabooh's 

Cavkb To 

Acting Veld-Cornet Charles Rice 
Dr. Jameson. ..... 

Malabogh at Bat ..... 

Mementos found in Hoofdstad 

The late Commandant Henning Pretorius 

Address of Welcome .... 

His Honour S. J. P. Kruger State President 

Mr. Ewald Esselen (late State Attorney) 
Dr. W. J. Lbyds (late State Secretary) 
The State Prisoner, Malaboch, in the Pretoria 


Metamorphosed Warriors 

Comrades of the late Dr. Tobias (just before 

the Funeral) ..... 
The late Reverend Father Douglas, S.S.J. 
St. Augustine's Brotherhood, Modderpoort, 

Ladybrand, O.F.S. .... 
Letter from Mr. Ewald Esselen . 
St. Mary's Church, Pilgrim's Rest 
Pilgrim's Rest Mining Camp (from the West) 

District Lydenbubg .... 

Church of St. John the Evangelist, Lydenburg 
Excitement in Johannesburg, outside the Gold- 
fields Buildings .... 
The Offices of the Reform Committee . 
The late Lord Rosmead (Sir Hercules 


Residence of Mr. H. Hellman, Mariasburg 

Troopers' Grave at Doornkop 

Refugees fleeing from Johannesburg . 

The Great Reform Trial at Pretoria . 

The late Mr. B. I. Barnato 

Cartridges, Vultures' Feathers, Spent Bullet, 

Ramrod, and Necktie from Doornkop 
Map of the Scene of War . 


i p. 117 























































At end. 



Mr. Anthony Vlotniaris verbatim Narrative. 

After the Transvaal was given back to the Boers by 
the British in 1881, Malaboch refused to pay taxes to 
the new Government, and since then has never paid. 
In December, 1891, Mr. Barend Vorster, Native 
Commissioner of Malitse's Land, with twenty-one 
men, including myself, proceeded to Blaauwberg, 
the stronghold of the recalcitrant Chief, for the 
purpose of collecting taxes, and encamped at the foot 
of the mountain, close to the Rev. C. Sonntag's 
mission station. The Commissioner sent some of the 
missionary Kafirs up to the Hoofdstad with a request 
for Malaboch to come down, as he wanted to take the 
census of the tribe. The Commissioner, with four or 
five men, then went a little way up the mountain, 
when a shot was fired at them from above. The 
party, without returning the fire, at once came down 
again to the encampment. The mission Kafirs 
returned the same day, with an impudent message 
from the Chief in these exact words : "I am baas 



upon this mountain, and shall not allow the census to 
be taken." The next morning we saw Kafirs coming 
down the mountain in all directions. They seized 
my horse and that of another of our men, which were 
grazing in the bush. They took them up the 
mountain, tying them to a tree just under the 
highest peak. We should not have known where 
the horses were had we not seen them being led 
away by the Kafirs. They were eventually recovered. 
Ten of Malaboch's head Indunas then came down and 
interviewed the Commissioner, and about mid-day we 
were completely surrounded by considerably over two 
thousand Kafirs variously armed with guns and 
assegais, though chiefly guns. I ought to mention 
that at that time the Chiefs Mapen and Kiviet were 
with Malaboch and were hostile to the Government, 
but they have since, as you know, become loyal sup- 
porters of the Transvaal Government, and rendered 
us valuable assistance during the late campaign. 

Before the interview the Commissioner requested 
the Indunas to leave their guns on the other side of 
the hedge, which they did. Some Kafirs, however, 
were stopped when nearing the spot chosen for the 
interview, and told to retire to a distance with their 
arms, and only to approach the Commissioner un- 
armed. But one Kafir came within the prescribed 
limits with his gun, and, on the Commissioner 
personally telling him to go away, he refused. 

The Indunas were most insolent during the whole 
proceedings, and all our men stood to their guns, as 
we quite expected to be massacred. The armed 


Kafirs were only about thirty yards away, scattered 
in the dense bush. The interview ended about an 
hour before sunset, and then they brought nine of 
the most wretchedly miserable bullocks they could 
procure, and on presenting them to the Commissioner, 
the head Induna said : " These nine bullocks repre- 
sent a pinch of snuff from Malaboch to the Transvaal 
Government." The same Induna then repeated 
Malaboch's words, that they did not intend paying 
any taxes, as they were the rightful owners of the 
mountain, and not the Boers. The Commissioner 
told the Indunas to tell Malaboch that that was the 
last appeal the Government intended to make for 
taxes. The Kafirs then retired, and in doing so made 
a big demonstration by blowing their « wait hoorn 8 " 
(war horns), and firing their guns in the air at 

I know the Zoutpansberg district well, having 
lived there on and off since the 4th February, 1888. 
I am well acquainted with the ways of the Kafirs, 
and their roguish and thieving propensities in dealing 
with the cattle of the Boers. 

Much has been said with regard to the justice or 
otherwise of the Malaboch War, but I think the 
foregoing narrative of facts points to a sufficient 
casus belli. 




The talk of Pretoria for more than a week had been 
the question of commandeering men for action against 
the rebel Chief Malaboch of Blaauwberg fame. When- 
ever two friends met in the street, the first; greeting 
invariably was — " Have you been commandeered ? " 

All classes were absorbed in the burning question 
of the hour. Indeed, it would have been utterly 
impossible for anyone to have overlooked it, as the 
appointed officers had been and were still busily 
pursuing their thankless task. This gave rise to 
much ill-feeling and dissatisfaction, and many vowed 
vengeance on the Government, using threats which 
they never intended carrying out. This feeling, how- 
ever, was not shared by the whole of the community, 
for many of the youthful members were most eager 
to be numbered amongst those fortunate and lucky 
individuals (such they considered them) whose names 
had already been enrolled on the list. They even 
asked the Veld-Cornet to have their names added, and 
so sure were they of being accepted, that they had 



actually selected their outfit. Would the ubiquitous 
and indefatigable "Melt" (Veld-Cornet) pass them 
over ? This was their only anxiety. 

Not only were men commandeered, but money, pro- 
visions, and clothing w r ere also largely requisitioned 
from the proprietors of all the business houses, who, 
to their credit, be it said, showed their loyalty to tie 
State by giving most cheerfully the goods demanded, 
and, in most cases, promising to reinstate their em- 
ployes should they have the good fortune to return in 
safety. Some of those commandeered found substi- 
tutes, to whom they paid from £30 to £60, besides 
providing horses, saddles, and bridles, and glad 
enough they were to get out of it at that price. 

In the midst of all this excitement and confusion, 
the Bishop of Pretoria (Dr. Bousfield) was calmly 
considering how he could provide for the spiritual 
wants of the men, and on my return to luncheon a 
brief note from his lordship awaited me. It ran as 
follows : — 

Saturday, May 19, 1894. 
Dear Mb. Rae, — Come and see me as soon as possible. 

H. B. Pretob. 

I lost no time in acceding to this request, having 
but little doubt as to its purport. It was, as I 
conjectured, to consult me as to my willingness to 
accompany the troops, and act as Chaplain if so 
required. He warned me of all dangers likely to be 
incurred, as well as the hardships likely to be endured. 
I immediately consented, as these did not deter me, 
promising to be ready to start at half a day's notice. 


On the following Monday the Veld-Comet's office 
presented a scene of wild excitement. Hundreds of 
men were waiting to interview the sturdy official, Mr. 
Melt Marais. To many this would have proved some- 
what distracting, but he stood his ground and would 
accept of no excuses. He was determined to do his 
duty, and right well he did it too. He was not a 
little surprised to find so many of his fellow- townsmen 
suffering from all kinds of chronic disorders, numerous 
medical certificates being produced to such effect. 
Sons, who were the sole support of their widowed 
mothers, were there in large numbers. Even Burghers 
of the State were present making excuses in order to 
be exempted from active service. But the hard- 
hearted " Melt " was not to be cajoled. The law had 
to be enforced, and go they must. Some of the 
more sensible had grasped the situation, and were, in 
the absence of all order or system, hauling over the 
rifles and selecting their choice. It was a strange 
scene, and, to some extent, amusing. 

After making many calls at the office, which took 
up the greater part of the day, I at last succeeded in 
catching the eye of Mr. Marais, and, beckoning him, 
begged a few moments of his valuable time. Without 
prefacing my remarks, I went to the subject at issue 
at once, and asked for a horse, saddle, bridle, revolver, 
rifle, and ammunition, all of which I considered 
absolutely necessary for my equipment. But my 
modest requests were just as promptly though politely 
declined ; being informed at the same time that the 
Government only saw its way to supply me with 

B 2 


rations. The matter thus being settled, I next 
turned my thoughts towards my outfit, and wended 
my way down Church Street. Being in a dilemma 
as to what would be required, I consulted Canon 
Fisher, an old campaigner through the Bechuana- 
land war, who kindly supplied me with a list and 
presented me with several useful articles which lie 
had himself used. Armed with this list, I was 
proceeding to make my own purchases when, 
luckily, I encountered Mr. Mogg, a well-known 
and highly respected gentleman in Pretoria. With 
such a pioneer my troubles were much lessened, 
for taking me to the " Ready Money " Outfitting 
Establishment, he purchased some of the goods, for 
which he generously refused to accept payment. 
This was not by any means my only experience of 
the generosity of the residents in Pretoria — Mr. 
Thomas B. Burnham, the senior warden of the 
cathedral, and the members of his house were most 
kind ; Mr. Burnham not only gave me good advice 
with regard to camp life, but showed his kindness in 
a more practical manner, by providing me with warm 
clothing and a camp-chair, while Mrs. Burnham 
and family sent a large box of dainties weighing 
about sixty pounds. From Mr. and Mrs. Henshall 
I received a box of similar weight, containing 
groceries, fresh and preserved vegetables, and medi- 
cines. A lady, whose name I have unfortunately 
forgotten, sent a sum of money through Mr. Burn- 
ham. Mrs. Fisher and the late Mrs. Mogg were most 
energetic in gathering subscriptions, with the result 


that a cheque for eleven pounds was posted on to 
me after my arrival at Blaauwberg. The Bishop, 
too, assisted me, so that I was put to very little 
expense myself. 

To all who so generously rendered assistance I 
tender my deepest gratitude. 

The day before starting, the Uitlander's Association 
held a public meeting in the Caledonian Hall, which 
was packed to overflowing long before the appointed 
hour ; the chief object being to enlist the sympathy 
of the public on behalf of the five political prisoners, 
Messrs. Reno, Maynard, Clarke, Steer, and Ingle, and 
to collect subscriptions for their defence against the 
State prosecution, they having refused point blank 
to comply with the demands of the law in the matter 
of being commandeered for service. 

Indignation meetings had also been held on 
Church Square during the day, where much was 
said though little was done. On my way to Bishop's 
Cote in the evening, I noticed that the streets were 
quite deserted — only at the Caledonian Hall was 
there any excitement. The Bishop had arranged for 
a special service in his unique and pretty little 
private chapel, situated in the episcopal grounds, 
which, by the way, is built of Willesden paper, and 
had already stood the test of several wet seasons, 
and was but little the worse for wear. I found the 
Bishop in his study, and soon after my arrival an 
adjournment was made to the chapel, where we were 
joined by the late Rev. R. J. P. Dunbar of the cathe- 
dral, Mrs. Bousfield, and the Misses Bousfield. On 


my return home, late as it was, I found Mrs. Sinclair, 
my worthy hostess, busily engaged in packing my 
trunk ; the kindness of this lady and her family to 
me will be long remembered. Early next morning a 
special service for churchmen commandeered was held 
in the cathedral, and the Holy Communion celebrated 
by the Bishop. Special prayers compiled by his lord- 
ship were said, in which the Rulers of the State, the 
commandeered, and myself were remembered. During 
the morning Mr. E. F. Simpsom called on behalf of 
the Hospital Comforts Committee, and invited me to 
the Union Club, where a meeting was being held. 
There I was introduced to Messrs. C. Ueckerman, 
S. Jones, W. C. Schappert, Dr. Engelenberg, Colonel 
Ferreira, and other gentlemen who had spared no 
pains or trouble in providing a supply of stores for 
the hospital department. Through their exertions a 
wagon load of real comforts was procured, and I was 
asked to act as a member of the committee. I can 
assure these gentlemen that the stores were faithfully 
distributed without stint or favour to any who really 
needed such. Many a poor fellow who partook of 
them during the campaign had need to be deeply 
grateful, and I am only expressing the wishes of all 
my comrades (especially the sick and wounded) when 
I say we thank you heartily, kind friends. 

The time was now drawing near for a start to be 
made, and the men began to muster on Church 
Square, each man, equipped with a Martini-Henri 
rifle, a bandolier well filled with ammunition, a 
belt and canteen, presented a most warlike ap- 


that they were to encamp at Wonderboom Poort for 
two days, he spoke in complimentary terms of the 
inhabitants of Pretoria for so nobly responding to 
the call of duty, and he was glad to state that almost 
every man who had been commandeered had resolved 
to take up arms to defend the land he lived in. He 
wished them God-speed on their perilous mission, and 
trusted they would all return safe and sound, and in 
as good health and spirits as they appeared to be on 
the eve of their departure, and after quoting Lord 
Nelson's well-known words, " The State expects that 
every man will do his duty," he withdrew. Great 
cheering followed the conclusion of the speech, and 
the horsemen and wagons then proceeded down 
Church Street bound for Wonderboom Poort. Both 
sides of the thoroughfare were closely packed with 
spectators, and almost every member of the fair sex 
resident was present to bid farewell to the departing 
warriors. Deafening cheers were raised and hats and 
handkerchiefs waved aloft with frantic vigour. One 
young fellow caused great amusement by his general 
bearing ; he was regardlessly got up a la militaire in 
a tight-fitting kharki suit and marched along beside 

wagon number : he was evidently aware of his 

smart appearance and consequently carried his head 
erect ; but, alas ! he met with a dire catastrophe. 
Just at one of the most prominent corners, as he 
was attempting to get into the wagon, a side seam 
of his trousers burst open from top to bottom, 
exposing his manly leg to view ; he lost no time in 
losing himself to sight in the interior of the wagon, 




pearance. The Veld-Cornet's office was still besieged 
by youths who were anxious to go as substitutes. 
The crowd which had assembled was the largest, it 
was said, ever seen in Pretoria. The platform over 
the porch of the Government buildings was occupied 
by the Members of the Volksraad and their friends, 
whilst every available balcony was filled with eager 
onlookers, of whom the fair sex formed a goodly 
proportion. Cabs were dashing about in all directions, 
and the wagons of war were in readiness. Some of 
the men had little idea of what was required, as 
evidenced by their general get up, a loud check suit, 
straw hat, and tennis shoes, with cartridge belt put 
on upside down, scarcely betokened a knowledge of 
what should constitute a smart military appearance. 
One fellow had his gun-strap so mixed up with that 
of his canteen that it would have taken him some 
time to "present arms." Others took no rations 
with them whatever, but laughingly remarked that 
they did not intend to starve nevertheless. The 
Boers were all mounted ; many of the Pretoria town 
contingent, however (mostly Englishmen), had no 
horses, and preferred keeping to the wagons rather 
than do stable duty. 

As the clock struck four the roll was called by 
Lieutenant J. Schroeder, and when all had answered 
to their names the order was given to " quick march." 
Headed by the band and a detachment of the 
volunteers, the commando marched to the front of 
the Raadzaal, when the Commandant-General from 
the balcony addressed the men; having announced 


that they were to encamp at Wonderboom Poort for 
two days, he spoke in complimentary terms of the 
inhabitants of Pretoria for so nobly responding to 
the call of duty, and he was glad to state that almost 
every man who had been commandeered had resolved 
to take up arms to defend the land he lived in. He 
wished them God-speed on their perilous mission, and 
trusted they would all return safe and sound, and in 
as good health and spirits as they appeared to be on 
the eve of their departure, and after quoting Lord 
Nelson's well-known words, " The State expects that 
every man will do his duty," he withdrew. Great 
cheering followed the conclusion of the speech, and 
the horsemen and wagons then proceeded down 
Church Street bound for Wonderboom Poort. Both 
sides of the thoroughfare were closely packed with 
spectators, and almost every member of the fair sex 
resident was present to bid farewell to the departing 
warriors. Deafening cheers were raised and hats and 
handkerchiefs waved aloft with frantic vigour. One 
young fellow caused great amusement by his general 
bearing ; he was regardlessly got up a la militaire in 
a tight-fitting kharki suit and marched along beside 

wagon number : he was evidently aware of his 

smart appearance and consequently carried his head 
erect ; but, alas ! he met with a dire catastrophe. 
Just at one of the most prominent corners, as he 
was' attempting to get into the wagon, a side seam 
of his trousers burst open from top to bottom, 
exposing his manly leg to view ; he lost no time in 
losing himself to sight in the interior of the wagon, 



and although it was a best on record, he was not 
sufficiently quick to prevent an uproarious laugh 
from the crowd. 

Numbers of horsemen and vehicles swelled the 
procession until Aapies River drift was reached, 
when the majority of them returned together with 
the volunteers. 

Many carriages were gathered at various points 
outside the town, and cheers were given by the 
occupants of a passing railway train. 

The greatest enthusiasm prevailed, everyone being 
in the highest of spirits. Out of the one hundred 
and seventy-five men commandeered only seventeen 
failed to answer to their names, eight of whom turned 
up later on, while the others were in the wagons 

Darkness had set in when we reached our ren- 
dezvous, and for some hours all was activity and 
disorder. There were some final and pathetic leave- 
takings at this spot, and after something like quiet 
and order w r ere obtained, Lieutenant Charles Rice 
was appointed Commandant for the night. Fur- 
nishing myself with a rug and waterproof sheet, I 
retired for the night under the wagon by the side of 
Sergeant Lovell Taylor, and slept as soundly as I 
should have done in my comfortable bed in the 
house of Mrs. Sinclair in Proes Street. 




I arose at six the next morning, and after going 
through my ablutions in the river close by, we re- 
ceived orders from headquarters to proceed to the 
Thorns, and reached there at nightfall. An unknown 
friend kindly sent me the daily papers. To-day, 
being the anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Vic- 
toria's birthday, we sang the National Anthem in 
honour of the occasion, and three loud, ringing cheers 
were given by Her Gracious Majesty's loyal subjects, 
who, although resident thousands of miles away from 
their native soil, w r ere as hearty and sincere in their 
congratulations as any Britisher could wish to be. I 
may state that, during the five years I have lived 
in South Africa, I have invariably noticed how 
thoroughly devoted and attached the British subjects 
are to their Sovereign. 

It was raining hard when the acting Veld-Cornet 
called the roll; wagons with burghers were con- 
stantly swelling our ranks. While on our way here 
we had to commandeer a " voorlooper," the boy who 
had been acting in that capacity not being in a fit 
state to lead the oxen. Our new voorlooper, being 
thus suddenly kidnapped, was apparently much 
frightened, and would have liked to run away, but 



dared not. The rains came on heavily just about 
this time, and we were in a most deplorable state, 
having neither bucksail nor tent; these had been 
promised, but had not yet arrived. A meeting was 
held in the rain, at which Colonel Ferreira was unani- 
mously elected Acting-Commandant for the Pretoria 
Town Contingent, and he in turn appointed Lieu- 
tenant Sarel Eloff as second in command. We, 
that is to say No. 2 mess, then retired for the 
night inside the wagon, leaving Messrs. Malan and 
Conradie on guard. The discomfort to which we 
were put may be imagined, when I state that the 
accommodation thus afforded was scarcely sufficient 
for four, let alone twelve, for the two came off guard 
at midnight wet through, and we were literally 
packed like so many sardines. I have never before, 
nor since, experienced such inconvenience in my 
sleeping quarters. One could not stretch one's legs 
for fear of kicking somebody's head, and constant 
cries were heard, such as, " Oh, do take your feet 
away ! " " Steady, man, that's my head ! " " Hang 
it all, give a fellow a little more room ! " " Who's 
that with a boot on ? " It was I who had to plead 
guilty to the latter. Before retiring I was standing 
by the wagon in my top-boots in the pouring rain. I 
was afraid to stir, as every time I moved I gathered 
a fresh clod of the glutinous potclay, which stuck to 
me with a leechlike tenacity aggravating in the 
extreme. The consequence was, I had to sleep with 
one boot on, for do what I would I could not get it 
off, and the poor fellow whose head it had come in 





fully understood how utterly foolish it would have 
been to grumble at the inevitable. The camp was 
situated on the bank of the Aapies River, close to the 
Thorns Hotel. It was unfortunate, however, that 
the spot chosen was not the best that might have 
been selected, the ground being of a spongy and turfy 
nature, which made it a most unsuitable place to 
pitch tents in wet weather. 

The wagons were soon inspanned, and the horses 
saddled, but alas ! number " two " was in a dilemma. 
Three of the oxen were either lost, stolen, or strayed ; 
we had not a full span to start with (only ten), and 
they were very poor. We were, therefore, left with 
seven trek oxen, and an old black cow ; the latter 
was given us as we were leaving Pretoria by Mr. 
Celliers for slaughtering. This animal was pressed 
into the service and inspanned ; we had the greatest 
difficulty in moving the wagon, the wheels being 
embedded deep down in the yielding turf. After 
proceeding a few yards, the cow slipped her head 
from the yoke, and fled with a most remarkable speed 
until she was lost to sight, and we saw her no more. 
All the other wagons had gone on, and were now out 
of sight. We had to take the odd ox out, and try to 
get along with the remaining six ; but this was 
utterly impossible, more especially as we were with- 
out a whip ; the only thing we could do was to wait. 
A new idea, however, struck us : Could not we com- 
mandeer three oxen ? But from whom, and where ? 
Durbin Brice, the youngest member of our mess, 
armed with his rifle, left the wagon, and began to 


explore. He returned in a short time, driving before 
him three very good beasts which he had seized from 
a kraal close by. They were soon inspanned with the 
others, and having secured a whip by the same means 
from a passing wagon, we were able to proceed. 

It was now getting late, and darkness had begun 
to set in. The roads were in a horrible condition, 
simply one mass of slush ; and as our voorlooper 
was ignorant of the way, Mauritz Preller, after 
divesting himself of most of his clothing, took his 
place. I do not know how we should have fared had 
he not done so. He trudged through the slush for 
hours whooping and yelling, until we came to a place 
called the Pyramids. Here we brought our wagon to 
a standstill, and arranged our sleeping quarters for 
the night, and had supper. We were suffering from 
a burning thirst, but our water-barrels and canteens 
were all empty, with the exception of mine, which 
contained about half a pint of water. This had to 
serve for the ablutions of Mauritz, who was in a 
fearful state, being covered with mud from head to 
foot, and almost fainting from fatigue. After 
wrapping him up in blankets, we retired for the 
night. Four of our number, namely, Messrs. Eloff, 
Malan, Vlotman, and Conradie, had gone on with the 
horsemen. This gave us more room, and we were 
soon comfortably settled in the wagon, and slept 
soundly. I should here mention that, by this time, 
the refractory boot had at last come off, and was now 
hanging with its companion alongside the wagon, 
and, needless to say, there it remained. 


We trekked at 7.15 next morning to Waterval, 
where we were joined by our four comrades who had 
left the advance column to find out our whereabouts. 
They condoled with us in our misfortunes, and we 
then sat down to breakfast — a meal we thoroughly 
enjoyed, especially the coffee, for we had not yet been 
able to satisfy our thirst of the previous night. 
Many purchases were made here, and we afterwards 
trekked on entering the bush-veld at 4.30 p.m., and 
reaching Hainan's Kraal at five. Here we rested, 
intending to stop for the night, and I sent a telegram 
to the Bishop informing him that we were all well ; 
but no sooner had I done so than Gert Botha, who 
had been our right-hand man, suddenly became 
indisposed through drinking bad water. We were 
all much concerned about him, and so ill did he 
become, that we were obliged to put him to bed in 
the wagon, inspan at once, and trek for the camp in 
order to obtain medical assistance. On arrival there, 
Dr. Liknaitzky prescribed for him, and under his 
treatment, aided by the nursing of his bosom friend, 
Jacques de Toit, he soon recovered. Early the next 
morning, General Joubert, Mr. Melt Marais, and 
Colonel Ferreira arrived. The men of the Pretoria 
contingent spoke in high terms of the Colonel as an 
officer of ability, and his election as Commandant 
gave general satisfaction. 

At the sound of the bugle all gathered around a 
wagon, upon which were a Dutch predikant from 
Pretoria, the General, Mr. Melt Marais, and Colonel 
Ferreira. A religious service was then held, and 


afterwards the General addressed the men. I could 
not understand what was said, as he spoke in Dutch, 
but it was evident that an impression was made, 
judging by the hearty cheers that were given at the 
end of the speech. 

Although I did not leave my wagon, owing to the 
rain, I could hear all that passed, and was much 
impressed with the singing of the " Old Hundredth. " 
It was raining during the whole of the proceedings. 

( 17 ) 



The next day being Sunday, I held services in the 
camp for the first time both in the morning and 
evening. The singing was really good, and this was 
not to be wondered at, considering that four out of 
the twelve in my mess, and Lieutenant Holzer of 
mess No. 3, belonged to the cathedral choir. 

At about noon, Messrs. Sonnenburg, Bartlett, and 
Jackson, from Pretoria, visited us and stayed to 
dinner. They brought with them sad news. On 
their way to the camp they met a transport rider 
named Van de Bijl, who asked them to come to his 
wagon. This they did, and were just in time to see 
Gert van de Westhuizen, one of the commandeered 
men, breathing his last. He had wandered from the 
commando to Van de Bijl, and asked him to give him 
a place to sleep in. Van de Bilj gave him permission 
to sleep under the wagon. It appeared that towards 
daylight, Van de Westhuizen walked to a tree about 
thirty yards away, and, after stabbing himself with 
his knife, staggered back to the wagon covered with 
blood. Upon being questioned by the astonished 
Van de Bijl, he replied that it was hard for him to 
leave his wife and family and be pressed into service, 



* Jm 




3 H 


( 17 ) 



The next day being Sunday, I held services in the 
camp for the first time both in the morning and 
evening. The singing was really good, and this was 
not to be wondered at, considering that four out of 
the twelve in my mess, and Lieutenant Holzer of 
mess No. 3, belonged to the cathedral choir. 

At about noon, Messrs. Sonnenburg, Bartlett, and 
Jackson, from Pretoria, visited us and stayed to 
dinner. They brought with them sad news. On 
their way to the camp they met a transport rider 
named Van de Bijl, who asked them to come to his 
wagon. This they did, and were just in time to see 
Gert van de Westhuizen, one of the commandeered 
men, breathing his last. He had wandered from the 
commando to Van de Bijl, and asked him to give him 
a place to sleep in. Van de Bilj gave him permission 
to sleep under the wagon. It appeared that towards 
daylight, Van de Westhuizen walked to a tree about 
thirty yards away, and, after stabbing himself with 
his knife, staggered back to the wagon covered with 
blood. Upon being questioned by the astonished 
Van de Bijl, he replied that it was hard for him to 
leave his wife and family and be pressed into service, 




and that he wished to die. Lieutenant Schroeder, upon 
being informed of the sad occurrence, proceeded to 
the spot and had the body conveyed to the camp, 
where it awaited a medical examination. All the 
rest of the commando were well and in the best of 
spirits. During the afternoon, Dr. Tobias and 
Sergeant Charles Lever went out shooting, while 
Messrs. Holzer, Gates, Taylor, and Brook tried their 
skill at fishing ; but both hunters and anglers were 
rewarded with very little sport. Corporal Gert Botha, 
still weak from the effects of his indisposition of the 
previous day, walked as far as the river, and venturing 
too near the edge of the bank, had the misfortune to 
slip in, but with no bad results, except, of course, a 
good wetting. Dr. Mader, the appointed medical officer 
to the commando, arrived, to whom I was introduced. 
He held a post-mortem on the body of poor Van de 
Westhuizen, and could form no opinion as to how the 
wounds were inflicted. The body was afterwards 
taken to Pretoria for burial. The deceased was a 
married man with a large family, and strongly pro- 
tested against being commandeered. He left his 
family quite unprovided for. 

The arrival of Colonel Ferreira was a matter of 
great rejoicing, for ever since the start there had not 
been the least order or discipline amongst the troops. 
Everyone did as he deemed fit, and the camp was in 
real danger, as shots were often fired at random. 
While at the Thorns, I saw one man, who was sitting 
on the voorkist of a wagon, level his gun and fire, and, 
when remonstrated with, said he was only testing his 


new rifle in order to be ready for Malaboch. Another 
brave soldier, who had never handled a Martini before, 
was in the act of demonstrating how he would shoot 
the enemy, when the gun exploded with a bang, and, 
with the recoil, the shooting-iron struck him on the 
nose. This caused much amusement, and the brave 
fellow, rubbing his nose and seeing the blood, quietly 
said, " I have draw r n first blood. This is the blood 
of a warrior," and for a few days after he was the 
partaker of hospital comforts. 

The Colonel soon enforced discipline, and I for one 
was relieved of much unnecessary anxiety. After the 
rambles of the day w r ere over, and when everything 
was quiet, I held service at the Colonel's w T agon. A 
huge fire was burning (for the night was cold), and 
this, with a few candle-lamps hung on the boughs of 
the trees, gave quite a brilliant light. By 10 p.m. 
all lights w r ere out and everyone had retired. 

c 2 



a day's hunting. 

Reveille was sounded at 3 A.M., and at once the 
whole of the camp was astir. When the roll was 
called eighteen failed to respond, and the Colonel 
sent a telegram to this effect to headquarters. He 
(the Colonel) inspected the men in a business-like 
military fashion, and all were glad to have one 
in command who understood his work so thoroughly 
and was determined to do his duty at all hazards. 
There can be no doubt that, if the Colonel's ideas 
of organisation had been carried out as he wished, 
there would have been less confusion and discontent 
than unhappily prevailed afterwards to an alarming 
extent. By 5.30 the oxen were inspanned and we 
trekked for four hours, and encamped on the 
Pretoria side of the Pienaars River ; but our stay 
here was very brief, for the General, who was on 
his way to Pietersburg by the coach, and whose 
arrival in camp was announced by vociferous cheer- 
ing from the Boers, at once gave orders to trek on 
to the other side of the river, where we were to join 
the rest of the commando. The horsemen fell in 
for the first time under the command of Lieutenant 
Schroeder. They rode two and two, preceded by the 



Vierkleur, carried by Sergeant-Major Malan, who was 
accompanied by Bugler Sergeant Fuchs. The sight 
was very imposing, and great credit was due to the 
officer in charge for the able and efficient manner 
in which his onerous and thankless duties were 
performed. Had he, in conjunction with Colonel 
Ferreira, received that moral support from his superior 
officers — support to which he was certainly entitled, 
but instead of which was exposed to utter contumely 
— the history of the Pretoria contingent redounding 
to its credit, as it is, would have achieved still 
greater pre-eminence among its companion corps. 

The wagons dragged along heavily, for it was 
still raining hard, which made everything wretched 
and miserable. We soon reached our new place of 
encampment, and for the first time w r ere able to pitch 
a small tent and fix a bucksail to the side of the 
wagon ; these had come with baggage- wagons that 
morning. They were a great boon and enabled us to 
sleep in comfort. 

During the afternoon, a meeting of the committee 
of the hospital comforts was held in the Colonel's 
tent. The committee consisted of Dr. Mader, 
Colonel Ferreira, Dr. Tobias, Sergeant Charles Lever, 
and myself; Sergeant Charles Lever was appointed 
secretary, and, under the supervision of the committee, 
the wagon was unpacked and an inventory taken. 
These comforts consisted of all the necessaries of the 
Ambulance Corps. During our stay here we received 
a visit from the Chief Hans Makapan, who lived 
close by. He was attired in a smart mackintosh, 


a military peaked-cap, emblazoned with gold braid, 
and top-boots. He held an umbrella with red, white, 
blue, and yellow stripes, and was evidently well 
satisfied with himself. He conversed with the 
Colonel for some time and then apparently conferred 
with his indunas. 

Austin Brook was told off with others for horse 
guard, much to his disgust, as it was still raining 
very hard ; after his spell of duty, he crept into the 
wagon wet through. The next morning, after 
breakfast, I went out hunting with Mauritz Preller. 
We walked for miles through the long wet grass, and 
although I had my top-boots on, my feet got very 
wet. We were not very fortunate, for though we 
saw several koraan we failed to bag them ; Mauritz, 
however, shot a solitary guinea-fowl out of a large 
drove. Dr. Tobias, who had gone in another 
direction, had better sport, and brought back four 
brace of plump partridge. We returned for luncheon, 
and afterwards Dr. Tobias accompanied us on another 
hunt : this time we were on horseback. Lovell Taylor 
was good enough to lend me his shot-gun and well- 
filled bandolier; but although we saw numbers of 
guinea-fowl, our luck was no better than that of the 
morning. The doctor had brought his dog (a brown 
pointer), and when he potted the only bird of the 
afternoon, the dog had been lost, so was not there to 
assist in the search, and consequently, the grass being 
very long, we had to return without it. Beaching 
the wagons, which were still advancing, I again 
started out with Lieutenant Eloff and another, buck- 


' ' K'flt ' 



- "' 








1 «4 





hunting this time, ultimately returning still empty 
handed. I then joined my mess, feeling much dis- 
gusted and very tired. Our poor oxen were so weak 
that they were unable to proceed with the others, and 
we had to outspan some distance from the camp. We 
spent another very wretched night, for, owing to the 
incessant downpour, we were unable to pitch a tent, 
and were obliged to retire in the wagon. I had no 
sleep the whole night through, and my back ached 
so much that I felt quite sick, and was very glad 
when daylight appeared. 




After the night's rest, our bullocks, although no 
better fit than they were the previous day, were 
obliged to be inspanned, and Gert Botha (Gerard) 
allowed them practically to make their own time, 
for fear of knocking them up altogether. I am afraid 
we could never have caught up to the main column 
had not Colonel Ferreira, who passed us on his way 
to the camp, sent us six fresh bullocks. It was a 
great relief to be able to keep going at a reasonable 
speed, for even at the best of times bullock travelling 
is, to say the least of it, slow and monotonous. 

On joining our comrades of the main column, 
I left on horseback, with Sergeant Charles Lever, for 
the purpose of visiting the warm baths, situated in 
the Waterberg District. On our way thither we 
saw several buck, and Charles managed to bring down 
a steinbok. He dismounted, and putting down his 
gun proceeded to search for the buck. The horse 
at once bolted, making straight for a field of amabele 
at some distance off. I followed on horseback, leaving 
my companion still engaged in the search. Having 
captured the runaway I returned to assist Charles 
to find the buck. We found it and secured it to the 


saddle. We had now forgotten where the gun was 
laid, which necessitated another search, and we were 
much hampered therein by the long grass. However, 
all's well that ends well, and gun, buck, and horse 
were eventually secured. 

We then resumed our journey, when we met a 
Kafir girl, of whom we asked the way ; but, instead 
of replying, she cleared off as fast as she could, pro- 
bably terrified by our warlike appearance. On reach- 
ing the Warm Baths Hotel, we found Lieutenant 
Schroeder, with about forty horsemen, already there, 
and we all dined together. 

I am told that the medicinal properties of these 
hot springs are similiar to those of Baden Baden. 

Tony Vlotman, who had also bagged a buck, re- 
turned with us to the camp immediately after dinner. 
That evening I supped with the Colonel, and retired 
very early. 

A parade and kit inspection was held early the next 
morning by Commandant Erasmus and the Colonel ; 
when the roll was called, seven were still missing. 
The appointment of the officers were now confirmed. 
The Commandant complimented the men on their 
smart appearance, adding that he felt sure they 
would do their duty for " Land en Volk." Lieutenant 
Schroeder kept his men well under control, and made 
the slow ones " brush up," and I consider the com- 
pliment well deserved. After three cheers had been 
given, we trekked on to Tweefontein, still in the 
Waterberg District. Grumbling occurred at times, 
and a little strong language was indulged in ; but 


then the weather was very wet, and the organisation 
decidedly bad, as no rations had yet been served out, 
and this was the ninth day en route. Some suffered 
from actual want in consequence. 

On leaving Tweefontein, the roads became very 
heavy ; our oxen stuck several times, and everyone 
had literally to put his shoulder to the wheel, as the 
wagons had sunk in the deep sand. As we passed 
through the bush-veld, care had also to be taken, 
because of the overhanging boughs. Tons of rough 
wood were lying about, and this no doubt was secured 
by the burghers on their return. A little incident 
occurred here, which caused some excitement and 
amusement. A supposed steinbok ran across the 
road, and many jumped off the wagons and gave 
chase; the Colonel's two greyhounds joined in the 
chase, but they were not at all keen on it. After 
all, the supposed buck turned out to be a jackal. 

We outspanned at a pretty little spot between 
Buiskop and Krantz Kop. 

We trekked early the next morning, and out- 
spanned at Krantz Kop. There was not quite so 
much bush here as at our last outspan. After 
breakfasting with the Colonel, I went to look at the 
river we had just crossed, more out of curiosity than 
anything else, as I had been told that it was the 
River Nile. I was most anxious to see this ancient 
river, but I have since discovered that this name had 
its origin from the fact, that the geographers of 
two and half centuries ago held a fixed idea that the 
sources of the Nile were somewhere in Southern 


Africa. Many of the old trekkers still clung to this 
belief; and in 1875, a section of the Doppers (who 
consider themselves a chosen people, having for an 
inheritance the heathen, whom they regard as fit only 
to be slaves), with their wives and families and all 
their belongings, trekked to Mossamedes, expecting 
to find the Nijl, as they spelt it, somewhere in the 
north or north-west of the Transvaal, where they 
would find rich pastures abounding in game. Hence 
the present name of the river and town of Nijl- 
stroom, in the Waterberg District. After resting 
here for a short time, w r e made a very long trek, 
lasting nearly five hours. The roads w T ere still very 
heavy, and the oxen almost worn out. We at last 
reached Badzijnloop. I at once left with Gerard to 
try and shoot partridge ; but, after walking some 
miles, we returned without having seen a bird or fired 
a shot There was a post office here, and we were able 
to send off our mail. 




At daybreak we were off again, and trekked till 
5.30 A.M. As soon as we had outspanned, the 
Coloners two dogs barked and scampered off in 
pursuit of a poor little rabbit, which had ventured 
into the camp ; but it got away, and the dogs were 
soon back, and I came to the conclusion that they 
were as good at hunting as myself, and that was 
not saying much. 

The nights and mornings were cold, and this 
morning the ground was covered with a thick hoar 

A supply of guns and ammunition having arrived 
at Pietersburg, Messrs. Vlotman and Brook received 
instructions to proceed thither. 

We rested the next day, it being Sunday, although 
all, from the Commandant downwards, were anxious 
to reach the seat of war with the least possible delay ; 
yet we dared not travel on the " Sabbath," for that 
would be desecration, and reverses would be sure to 
follow, such is the general belief amongst the Boers ; 
also we should run the risk of being mulcted in a 
heavy fine for breaking the laws of the land ; so we 
rested. I held service at 10 A.M., after which the 


■■■ - 


Colonel ordered a parade, and on the roll being called, 
every man answered to his name. 

Dick Amos, the camp tailor, was busy the whole 
day with his needle, sewing on stripes to the 
officers' uniforms, which were thus decorated for 
the first time. The Colonel, who had gone to 
Nijlstroom with the mail, returned, bringing back 
with him a deserter, who had stolen a horse, saddle, 
bridle, and two oxen, and had disposed of the latter 
for fifteen shillings the two. The Colonel sent for 
four Englishmen of the navvy type, all of them old 
soldiers, having done short service under the Queens 
colours, to guard the prisoner, who, having received 
their charge, secured the poor wretch by passing a 
rope loosely round his neck, the two ends of it being 
held by the guard (not a bene, " it " is the rope, not 
the neck). Thus, had the prisoner attempted to make 
a dash for liberty, he would have been strangled. 
No doubt the guard were somewhat terrified by the 
Colonel's remarks, who, assuming a stem attitude, 
said : " I have picked out you, whom I consider the 
four best men in the commando, and if you dare to 
let the prisoner escape, you will be dead men by 
daylight." He (the prisoner) was brought to the 
Colonel's wagon and guarded in the manner described, 
and standing with his guard close to a huge log fire 
(my only light for the evening service) he looked an 
object of pity, and my thoughts were much distracted 
during the service by his dejected appearance. I 
felt inclined to speak to the man, but restrained from 
so doing out of regard for military discipline. 


Dr. Tobias, who ranked as sergeant and acted as 
postmaster, had also the onerous duties of giving out 
each day's orders ; and his bright and happy manner 
of doing so often evoked a laugh from the men, and 
onlookers from other contingents, for it was only in 
Colonel Ferreira's contingent that strict military 
discipline was observed. After instructing the men 
as to their duties for the following day, he would 
announce that a religious service would be held for 
the benefit of the deep-dyed blackguards whom he 
was then addressing, and he hoped that they would 
all attend, and amend their wicked ways. Instruc- 
tions were also given at this period as to the rations 
each burgher was to receive. The genial doctor 
stated that each man would be served out per diem 
with 2 lbs. meat, 1 oz. coffee, 2 oz. sugar, 2 beekers of 
meal (l£ lbs.), and 10 beekers of mealies for each 
horse. We had now been on the road twelve days 
and had received no regular food, although we had 
been told at the start that on and after the eighth 
day rations would be supplied regularly. However, 
the majority had made ample provision, and, thanks 
to the kind forethought of Pretoria friends, Mrs. 
Burnham's box now came into requisition, and it 
would be difficult to describe the joy the opening of 
it gave us. Before retiring I took a stroll round the 
camp, accompanied by Jacques du Toit and Lovell 
Taylor. Fires were burning at every wagon, and the 
Boers were singing the Old Hundredth, every man, 
apparently, trying to outdo the other in slowness of 
time, each note being prolonged for at least six beats. 


Our next outspan was at Naboomfontein, where 
we stayed a few hours. While our boy was in- 
spanning, one of the after oxen kicked him, sending 
him flying. Everyone this morning seemed to be 
in a gloomy mood, and a cantankerous spirit was 
prevalent, due probably to the fact of being called up 
at 2 A.M. The younger men who at first were so 
anxious to go as substitutes, now knew, to their cost, 
that going to fight Malaboch was not such a pleasant 
picnic as they had anticipated, and many of them 
wished themselves back under the parental roof. 
One of our Kafirs met with a very serious accident ; 
the wheel of the wagon going over his leg, just 
above the ankle, completely severing the sinews and 

Dr. Mader, who was soon on the spot, dressed the 
wound and stitched it up ; during this operation the 
poor " boy " groaned with pain. He would never, 
the doctor said, have the proper use of his foot again, 
but would have to walk on his toes ; some friends of 
his from a kraal close by came and took him away. 
We proceeded and outspanned near Moord Drift. 
The Colonel left us here and went with his prisoner 
to Pietpotgieters Eust. The guard were glad enough 
to be relieved of their responsibility. A hare which 
ran through the camp was bowled over by a Kafir, 
with a chopper. 

Our next trek was the longest we ever did, viz. 
eight hours, all but five minutes ; it was necessary 
for us to make so long an inspan in order to reach 
water at Biltong-fontein. 


Here bad news was brought us by Sergeant-Major 
Malan, to the effect that Malaboch's men had come 
out of their stronghold and had attacked our troops, 
driving them back several times. A patrol, while 
digging sweet potatoes in a kraal, was fired on. The 
report of arms caused two of their horses to bolt, and 
one of the dismounted men received a flesh wound in 
the head ; another, an Englishman, was wounded in 
the chest, and a Boer had his hat shot off. 

( 33 ) 



The following day wc heard, by a Kafir runner, that 
General Joubert had been bitten behind the ear by a 
poisonous spider : his condition was reported as serious, 
and Dr. Mader at once proceeded with an escort to 
attend him. 

The trek to-day was continued through very 
beautiful scenery, and we passed a few homesteads 
on our way. I walked up a small kopje with several 
companions and saw a number of salamanders (a 
species of lizard). On our return to the camp 
Mauritz Preller and Durbin Brice were tried by 
court-martial for refusing to go on sentry duty the 
previous night. The verdict was, that in addition to 
their usual duty, they were to do extra horse-guard 
as a punishment for their insubordination. There 
was still a little grumbling going on amongst a few 
of the Pretoria men, because of the discipline which 
was being rigidly enforced. Petitions from the 
grumblers were signed and handed in to the Com- 
mandant, who, to his credit, refused to interfere^ 
knowing full well how absolutely necessary strict 
order and discipline are to ensure the safety of an 




invading force, especially when almost face to face 
with the enemy. The startling news of the morning 
made the Colonel extra cautious, and while the wagons 
were en route a guard of four men to each was put 
on, one on either side of the voorlooper, and two 
bringing up the rear. After travelling in this way 
for nearly three hours, we caught a first glimpse of 
the enemy's mountain, and this was our landmark for 
the rest of the journey. By the time we outspanned, 
the apprehension caused by the morning's news had 
subsided, and during their idle time the men amused 
themselves by " throwing the oxhide," a most foolish 
and dangerous pastime, practised by the Boers. An 
oxhide is procured and held by about twelve men; 
an unfortunate bystander is placed in the middle of 
the hide, and at a given signal jerked up in the air 
by the twelve, who catch him in his descent ; some 
were thrown up a tremendous height and fell all of a 
heap, and it is a marvel to me no bones were broken. 
Durbin Brice, who was thrown much against his will, 
ricked his neck, and felt the effects for some days. 
This idiotic practice seemed to gratify the childish 
minds of our Boer friends, until the Commandant 
forbade it under penalty of a heavy fine. 

During the outspan — the first after catching sight 
of the enemy's hills — the men were paraded before 
Commandant Erasmus, who, through Corporal Frans 
Conradie acting as interpreter, read out certain camp 
regulations, having special reference to the extin- 
guishing of lights, and the conduct of the men 
generally, in the prospective presence of the enemy, 


and he expressed a hope that these regulations would 
not be infringed. 

The evening was cold, and we gathered round the 
wagon of Dr. Tobias and held an al fresco concert 
The doctor sang for the first time the "Malaboch 
War Song " of his own composition, all joining in the 
chorus vigorously, betokening that their sorrow of 
the morning was but skin-deep. By 9 p.m. all lights 
were out, and silence reigned in camp ; this was as it 
should be, considering the enemy's close proximity. 

This being my first experience of a war expedition, 
these restrictions naturally caused me some little 
uneasiness, and I was not alone in my fears. I had 
retired in the wagon by the side of Gerard, and had 
fallen asleep, when I was suddenly awakened about 
midnight, by feeling the rugs roughly pulled off me, 
and starting up to ascertain the cause, found my 
companion had decamped with all the bedding 
through the back of the wagon. I shouted out, 
"Gerard, where are you going?" but receiving no 
reply, I bounded nimbly through the front, and stood 
with bare feet on the veld in bewilderment. I quite 
thought the enemy was upon us, and had hauled 
Gerard out to assegai him, but everything being 
perfectly still, I ventured round to the back of the 
wagon, and found my friend " not " full of assegais, 
but scratching his head and rubbing his leg, for he 
had come into violent contact with the handle of the 
brakescrew, and had it not been for the bedclothes, 
the consequences would have been much more 
serious No Kafirs were there, and on my asking 

D 2 


Gerard the why and wherefore of this nocturnal 
flitting, and whether he was hurt, he replied, " I'm 
not hurt, I was only dreaming." Frans Conradie, 
who was sleeping under the wagon, and who was also 
disturbed by this commotion, simply roared with 
laughter at our conversation. 

We climbed back again into the wagon, and 
Gerard related his dream as follows : — " I dreamt 
that I was in my house in Pretoria, looking out of 
the front window, when I saw r Mauritz passing on a 
restive horse which threw him; his foot caught in 
the stiiTup and he was being dragged along the road. 
I heard him crying out for help, and opening the 
window, I jumped out to stop the horse which was 
going at full galop." Jacques, who had been on 
guard, turned in soon after this little escapade, 
frozen with cold, but we were so excited that we 
got little or no sleep that night 

; ••■ 

( 37 ) 


Composed by 
the late Dr. F. B. Tobias. 

Arranged by 
T. H. Farrar. 



Ons gaat ten oor-log, Mal-a - boch ! Mal-a - boch ! Ons gaat jou 







haal, Je moet op-betaal, Ons zal jou skiet op com-mando van Oom Piet. 



Chobus. f 

En zoo lang als de le - pel in de pap - pot Staat 


treu - ren wij nog niet, Klag - en wij nog niet ; En zoo 

p /jp- P Jj i -i J 




lang ah de le - pel in de pap-pot Staat Tru-ren wij nog Diet. 

S>i J i^ 



Hou jou maar klaar, 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
Ons heb't Zwaar 
Dat is waarachtig waar 
Ons krijg jou toch 
Jou vervloekste Malaboch. 



God die alles weet, 

Malaboch! Malaboch! 
Zorg voor vrouw en kind 
Brooders, zusters, en vriend 
Liefjes die ons laat 
Kan niet schelen hoe't gaat. 



Ons Kornel Ferreira, 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
Komt met zijn perden 
Om jou te keeren 
Ons gaat te voet 
En ons slaat jou op jou snoet. 



Ons Reverend Colin Rae, 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
Met horn is ons te vrij 
Hij gaat overal mee 
Waar blijft die predikant 
Van ons dierbaar Vaderland. 




Ons Commandant Generaal, 

Malabocb ! Malaboch ! 
Hou niet van dit geschiet 
Neuk maar met de dynamiet 
Hij heeft jou amper gefop 
Met de klippers op jou kop. 



Neen, zeg Commandant Malan, 
Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
Ons het een ander plan 
Wat jou nie vatte kan 
Kan je dit niet zien 
Ons moet rook met paraffin. 



Ons was ten oorlog, 

Malaboch ! Malaboch \ 
Ons't jon gehaal 
Je't op betaal 
Ons't jou geschiet 
Op Commando van Oom Fiet. 



(English translation by Edythe E. Townsend.) 


We're coming to war ! 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
For your sins you must pay, 
Uncle Piet bids us " slay " ! 
Get ready for the strife, 
You must fight for your life. 


And so long as the spoon in the porridge pot stands, 
We will never mourn, 
Nor will we complain; 

And so long as the spoon in the porridge pot stands, 
We will never mourn. 


Hold yourself ready ! 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
Though rough and long the way, 
We will not halt nor stay — 
For thy black blood we thirst, 
Thou Malaboch accurst ! 



God above knows all — 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
He'll hear our fervent call 
And grant no harm befall 
Mother, child, and wife — 
Loved ones, dearer than life. 




Our Brave Ferreira ! 

Malaboch! Malaboch ! 
With his fleet and prancing steeds 
Will soon stop your evil deeds, . 
And though we on foot must go 
We can deal a killing blow. 



The Reverend Colin Rae, 

Malaboch! Malaboch! 
Our devoted friend 
Goes with us to thine end, 
But where is the priest 
Of our belov'd Fatherland 1 



Our Commandant General — 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
He could shoot you at sight 
But prefers dynamite! 
Tou may well go in dread, 
With the stones thrown at your head. 



No! said Commandant Malan, 
Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
A game I have planned 
Which you cannot understand; 
But you'll see what I mean 
When we smoke with paraffin ! 




We've been to the war, 

Malaboch ! Malaboch ! 
A captive you are made 
And the price you have paid ; 
Sad and sore your defeat — 
Three cheers for Uncle Piet ! 


N.B. This is a free translation. Were the literal English 
produced, I fear that most of my readers would find such almost 
unintelligible. — The Author. 




We were off again the next morning at 6.50, and 
had to foot it, owing to the bad state of the roads. 
Gerard alone remained in the wagon, as he could 
scarcely stir, through the effects of his bruises. We 
reached Mathala's kraal about four hours later, in 
bitterly cold weather. I called on the Rev. Mr. 
Parisius, the German Lutheran missionary, who 
received me most kindly and offered me breakfast. 
This station is prettily situated under the shelter of 
a huge kopje. The house is approached by a very 
pretty avenue of the poisonous Euphorbia; the 
garden was well stocked with orange-trees, which 
were laden with delicious fruit, and I was invited to 
help myself. 

The Chief Mathala came out to meet the Colonel 
and held a long conversation with him. He (the 
Chief) wished to know where the Colonel had got the 
Kafir corn from, which he saw in the wagon. He 
was most impudent, and said we had no right to steal 
the corn from his lands, and that we should not have 
outspanned where we did the previous night. After 
this confab, he informed the Colonel that Malaboch 
had three impis out, but he estimated their full 


strength at about a thousand, and consequently- 
thought that a few hours' fighting would settle the 
whole matter, or, as he expressed himself, " you will 
make a breakfast off Malaboch. ,, Malaboch, he said, 
had driven off his cattle to Bamangwato ; he (Ma- 
thala) had already sent 500 of his men to the front. 

After this interview he presented the Colonel with 
a magnificent pig and five oxen. The pig, he said, 
was the one his father had promised the Colonel in 
1876 ; it was certainly very fat, and Mr. Piet Louw, 
the camp butcher, estimated its weight at 600 lbs., 
but this was not to be wondered at, considering that 
it had taken eighteen years (?) to fatten. 

Messrs. Vlotman and Brook returned from Pieters- 
burg with the arms and ammunition at this time, and 
their arrival was greeted with acclamation. A better 
spirit prevailed than hitherto. Colonel Ferreira, in 
consequence of the continued dissatisfaction of certain 
chronic grumblers, who refused to obey orders, and 
thus kicked against the discipline he had introduced, 
threatened to resign his position as Commandant, and 
proceed to the front merely as a private individual, 
rendering what assistance he could. He informed 
Commandant Erasmus to this effect, who, not only 
refused to accept his resignation, but gave him entire 
control over his own troops, even to the drafting of 
his own camp rules. This proved satisfactory to every- 
body concerned, save to the few already referred to, 
whose only reason for disregarding orders was that 
they might get out of horse-guard and sentry duties. 
During Mathala's interview, arrangements were made 


for a regular postal service by means of Kafir-runners 
to and from Pietersburg and the seat of war. 

The next outspan brought us to Tubaan's Loop, 
Mathala and the Kev. Mr. Parisius accompanying us 
on horseback ; before they left, the pig was killed and 
quartered. What with pork, curry, rice, and po- 
tatoes, the latter brought with the ordnance from 
Pietersburg, we had a most sumptuous repast, the 
enjoyment of which was enhanced by the music of a 
guitar artistically fingered by our popular mess-mate, 
Gert Botha. The success of this meal, the best we 
had had since leaving Pretoria, was entirely due to 
the skill of Sergeant Tony Vlotman, an old " bush- 
craftsman/' who was well experienced in the art of 
open-air cookery. After dinner we sang songs round 
the camp-fire, and had quite a large audience, which 
joined heartily in the choruses. The war song 
was the favourite, and had already become very 
popular both amongst the Burghers and Uitlanders. 

" Good old Tob," as Dr. Tobias was called, not only 
sang the song, but put in much " business," causing 
roars of laughter, and I am quite certain the 
doctor thought that the song could not be rendered 
effectively except by himself, and I quite agreed 
with him. 

The next morning I witnessed an interesting sight. 
The women from kraals near by, which were hidden 
by a perfect maze of prickly pear bushes, came to the 
wagons bearing on their heads baskets containing 
mealies, pumpkins, beans, sweet potatoes, amabele, 
eggs, and fowls. All these were bartered for beef 


and " tickeys." This bartering lasted the whole day 
and part of the next. Pickets were stationed all over 
the place, on the hills, and both inside and outside 
the camp. Watkins, of wagon number three, was 
doing picket duty on the top of a huge rock ; he was 
shivering with cold, and was glad enough when he 
received instructions to descend. All this picketing 
was the result of groundless fears, as the enemy 
would not dare to venture into the territory of 
Marthala, he being a much more powerful chief 
than Malaboch, and at enmity with him. 

We received instructions to wait here for reinforce- 
ments from Rustenburg, which were expected in a 
few days. 

The next day I secured a mount from Lieutenant 
Schroeder, and went in company with Mr. F. Neel, 
Assistant-Surgeon, and Mr. Kaiser, the War Secretary, 
on a visit to the Rev. Mr. Parisius, a distance of about 
nine miles. We found the reverend gentleman riding 
round his lands, who, on seeing us, invited us to his 
house, where his devoted and genial wife regaled us 
with coffee and cakes. 

A missionary's life is not, as some people imagine, 
one of ease and plenty, but, on the contrary, is, in 
my opinion, one of the hardest and most trying 
means of existence. The solitariness of such a life 
is one of the greatest trials. Mr. Parisius, who had 
been stationed at this mission for nine years, informed 
me that, during that time, he had sometimes gone for 
nearly a year without ever seeing a white stranger ; 
and I know from experience that if it were not for 


assistance from Europe, the missionary would fare very 
badly, for the Kafir very rarely has money to offer, 
and when he has it, is so fascinated with it, that 
he miserly hoards it up. Our kind host and hostess 
hastened to prepare luncheon for us, which consisted 
of boiled fowl, potatoes, and sauer-kraut. After this 
repast we bade our friends adieu, and hurried back 
to camp, reaching there just before dark. 

The expected Kustenburgers arrived in due course, 
and on their advent the serious part of the campaign 
commenced, and the picnic part ceased. 

( 49 ) 



By this time my hair had grown uncomfortably thick 
and long, and while returning from the mission 
station, my friend, Neel, promised to cut it for me, 
so, as soon as we returned to camp, he lost no time 
in commencing the operation ; but, unfortunately, 
darkness set in before he had finished, and he coolly 
informed me that he would complete the job in the 
morning, so I had to retire with my head half shorn. 
I was up betimes in the morning, and roused Neel at 
eight o'clock, when he soon finished his task in a very 
creditable way. 

This day (Sunday) was one of much interest. 
First of all I held a service for the Pretoria con- 
tingent at 10.30 A.M., and afterwards visited the 
kraal with Mauritz Preller, Lovell Taylor, and Austin 
Brook; several curios were secured here, including 
an old blunderbuss, which Mauritz bought for nine 
shillings and sixpence. Later on, Jacques de Toit 
came, and was curious enough to taste a roasted 
locust He said the flavour was very salt, some- 
thing like a shrimp. The natives were having their 
dinner off locusts and mealie pap. They were very 
hospitable, and invited me to partake of what they 



had ; but though I accepted some mealie pap to avoid 
giving offence, I had not the courage to crunch up a 

At 4.30 in the afternoon I held a service for the 
Dutch. Vested in cassock, surplice, and stole, I 
walked to the tent of Commandant Erasmus, who 
had made every preparation ; a dais, consisting of old 
boxes, had been Greeted in the open air, behind which 
were placed two chairs, one for Frans Conradie, who 
kindly acted as interpreter, and the other for myself. 
It was a simple service, as follows : — A hymn (in 
Dutch), prayer (in English), a chapter of the Scrip- 
tures (in Dutch) by Mr. Frans Conradie, another 
hymn (in Dutch), sermon interpreted, and a closing 
hymn (in Dutch). I preached from the text, " The 
battle is the Lord's," and about four hundred men 
listened to the sermon in profound silence. My 
Dutch consisted of the Invocation before the sermon, 
" In den naam van den Vader, en van den Zoon, en 
van den Heiligen Geest, Amen," and at the close of 
the service, 2 Corinthians xiii. 14 : "De genad van 
ons Heere Jesus Christus, en de liefde van God, en de 
gemeenschap des Heiligen Geest zij met u all voor 
eenwig, Amen." 

After I had returned to my wagon the Command- 
ant came and thanked me on behalf of the burghers 
and himself for the words I had spoken, and expressed 
a hope that the service would be often repeated ; at 
the same time he complimented Mr. Frans Conradie 
for his accurate interpretation. I felt grateful to hear 
this, knowing, as I do, the attitude of a Boer to an 


Uitlander, especially an Englishman, who cannot 
speak his language. 

We finished up the day with an English service, 
held round the Colonel's fire, and retired early, as we 
had to resume the march betimes the next morning. 
Our stay here had lasted three days. In the morn- 
ing, Gerard shot his fourteenth ox, which was served 
out as rations. The whole of the fourteen had been 
killed by that number of bullets, he never having 
missed his aim. 

The roll was again called, and instructions were 
given for everyone to be ready for trekking at noon. 
I walked up a kopje near by with Charles Lever, and 
had an awkward climb ; while going through one of 
the kloofs a young owl flew past us, and, in a dark 
cave, into which we peered, we saw, by the aid of 
a lighted match, a fierce old owl, whose eyes seemed 
to pierce us through, but we thought it prudent to 
leave it alone, and did. It was evident that this 
kopje had been used at some time or other as a Kafir 
stronghold, there being old ruins of forts and schantzes 
round about. When we reached the camp again we 
saw Mamatolla, an old local chieftainess, with some 
of her followers, mostly women, squatting round the 
Colonels tent. He (the Colonel) treated her to a 
substantial breakfast of about two pounds of beef, and 
some biscuits, which she devoured ravenously, all 
by herself, and then asked for more (which she 
didn't get). 

Mr. F. Neel sketched her on the spot, which is 
here reproduced. Mr. Zeederberg, from Pietersburg, 

E 2 


arrived in a wagonette drawn by four mules, and 
left again for Blaauwberg in advance of the 

We trekked again at 12.15 p.m. Flanking parties 
were thrown out, and the train of wagons was 
protected by front and rear-guards. For the last 
two nights many fires had been observed at some 
distance from the camp, extending over an area of 
many miles. From these indications we judged that 
information was being conveyed to Malaboch con- 
cerning our movements. The previous night a large 
veld-fire was distinctly seen in the route we had to 
take, and it was supposed that the Kafirs were 
burning the grass in front of us to prevent our oxen 
getting anything to eat. Several of our men were 
suffering from fever and dysentery, which maladies 
were ascribed to the brackish water we had to drink 
while encamped at Tubaan. A report reached us that 
the General's condition was still critical, no improve- 
ment being perceptible. As we trekked steadily along, 
all who were not on guard were seated in the wagon ; 
and Austin Brook, Jacques du Toit, and myself read 
aloud in turn " Silver Domino," which had been lent 
me by Lieutenant Rice. 

There were millions and millions of locusts in and 
around our camp. After partaking of some of Tony 
Vlotman's Irish stew, for which he had now got quite 
a name, we started again. All the footmen of my 
mess walked alongside the wagon armed. A message 
reached us from the General to the effect that two 
hundred of the cavalry were to leave the main body 


and proceed by forced marches to the seat of war. 
The messenger informed us that Malaboch had sent 
to the General, by his (Malaboch's) brother, a white 
ox and twenty pounds. Upon the General asking the 
meaning of it all, the answer was, that the white ox 
was a token of peace, and the twenty pounds a suit- 
able present to the white chief. The General replied, 
" If Malaboch wants peace he must come down from 
the mountain with all his men and I will give him a 
place to live in on the flat." The messenger said, 
" Malaboch is afraid that if he came down he and his 
people would starve, as all the corn had been captured 
or burned." The General answered, " If Malaboch 
obeys, I will find him corn for himself and people ; I 
will give him until Monday to submit : if he refuses 
he must take the consequences." It was the general 
impression that there was a compact amongst the 
tribes, with the Chief Magato at their head, to resist, 
and that all this talk was to gain time. This, how- 
ever, fitted in with the General's arrangements, as it 
enabled him to mobilise his forces. All Malaboch's 
Kafirs had left their locations and had gone on to the 
mountain. It was the opinion that Malaboch would 
soon surrender. The camp was thrown into great 
excitement at this warlike news. 

I should have mentioned that after leaving the 
mission station orders were given for all firing of guns 
to cease ; up till now everybody had been banging 
away at random, without the least restriction. Two 
burghers soon infringed this rule. After leaving 
Tubaan, seeing some buck on the veld, the tempta- 



tion was so great, as they explained when being tried 
by Commandant Erasmus, that they could not resist 
firing at them. No doubt in passing sentence the 
Commandant took this fact into consideration, as they 
were only fined five shillings each (the full penalty 
being £10), and then one of them had to borrow a 
shilling to make up the required sum. The man was 
of fine physique, and had a good-natured face, and 
both he and his companion were much frightened, 
and seemed to think that this act of disobedience 
simply meant decapitation. 

( 55 ) 



Our next two treks brought us to the base of opera- 
tions. We arrived there at 2 p.m., June 12th, having 
been on the road twenty-one days from Pretoria. 
These two last treks covered a distance of about 
twenty-five miles, and we passed through dense 
swarms of locusts ; in fact, it may be well described 
as twenty-five miles of locust-infested veld. There 
was a rumour current that we were to make an attack 
that same evening. It was evident, however, that 
all did not take this information seriously, Mr. Austin 
Brook in particular, for he continued reading " Silver 
Domino " to his comrades, and w T as totally ignorant 
of the fact that he would really face the enemy the 
next day. 

A parade was called soon after our arrival, and the 
genial doctor gave out the orders in his usual happy, 
light-hearted way, telling all the men to be in readi- 
ness for an attack at 3 a.m. Before retiring I accom- 
panied Mr. Kaiser on a visit to the Commandant- 
General, who was still confined to his bed. After a 
formal introduction by Mr. Kaiser, His Honour asked 
me if I could speak in Dutch, and on my replying in 
the negative, he conversed with me freely in English. 


I did not, however, ask any questions as to future 
war operations, but merely condoled with him in his 
misfortune, and after expressing a wish for his speedy 
recovery, I returned to my tent. The expected attack 
did not come off the next morning ; but between 
9 and 10 A.M., the Colonel, Mr. Zeederberg, Lieu- 
tenant Eloff, Sergeant-Major Malan, and Mr. Kling 
(who acted as cook to the Colonel) proceeded to the 
mountain, and set fire to twenty-two huts. We saw 
them burning from the laager. On their return, the 
Colonel informed me that the enemy had fired twice 
upon them, which was not returned. He, however, 
organised an expedition for the afternoon, when about 
two hundred of the cavalry and twenty-eight infantry 
reconnoitred the mountain. 

Austin Brook, of the infantry, related to me the 
following :— 

"As soon as we had set fire to some huts, the 
enemy opened a heavy fire on us — I should think 
about forty rounds — but without effect. We held 
our position until a shot came from our rear. 
Thinking the enemy had surrounded us, we thought 
it prudent to retire, and on doing so, found that the 
shot had been fired by the guard left in charge of the 
horses at the foot of the hill. As we were retreating, 
between twenty and thirty of the enemy tried to cut 
us off by attacking us on our left flank, a movement 
which might have been successfully carried out had 
they exercised a little skill, as we only numbered 
twenty-eight, all the cavalry having left us on 
reaching the foot of the hill. Fortunately, their 


guns were of the old muzzle-loader type, and, con- 
sequently, their bark was worse than their bite. We 
are all here safely, as you sec, and quite ready for 
dinner. Have you got any ? " 

Needless to say we had, and we all sat down 
together once more with forebodings as to whether it 
would be the last time we should enjoy that pleasure 
en masse. 

When the cavalry returned, some time after dark, 
they were almost frantic with excitement, and proved 
that the majority of them were novices at soldiering, 
although an occasional old warrior could be easily 
detected. Many were the tales of hair-breadth 
escapes told round the camp-fires that night. 

Whatever their experiences may have been, it put 
the funks into some of them, from which they never 
recovered until the day they started for home. 
" Feather-bed soldiers " some of them were, and no 

Before retiring, orders were received from Com- 
mandant Erasmus for all the cavalry, and twenty of 
the infantry, to be in readiness for an attack early 
the next morning. This arrangement was altogether 
contrary to the Colonel's wishes, who had quite 
another plan, and he was much disgusted at not 
being consulted. It was very late when we retired, 
as we were too excited to sleep, and could only 
discuss the probable movements of the next day. 

I spent a very restless night. Firing from other 
contingents was going on all through the night. The 
Commandant's plan, after all, was not put into effect, 


for at 1.30, every man, except about twenty, who 
were left to guard the camp, was up and armed with 
his rifle and revolver, the General having decided to 
make a determined attack from both sides of the 
mountain with all available forces. The Pretorians 
were to attack from the south-west of the berg, the 
Waterbergers from the opposite side, while the 
artillery brought a seven-pounder and a small moun- 
tain gun into play, the latter being taken right up 
the berg, the idea being to seize the second kopje in 
the range, which was some six miles away from the 
enemy's stronghold, and so gain a foothold on the 
mountain from which to conduct future operations. 
There were in our column alone, which included the 
Zoutpansberg men, about three hundred horsemen, a 
large contingent of footmen, two hundred friendly 
natives, and one gun. 

Accordingly, at three o'clock, each Veld-Cornet 
and Commandant of divisions received orders to 
advance his men to the attack, an order which they 
proceeded to execute in the most ridiculous manner 
imaginable. There was neither order nor method 
about the whole thing, but it was simply a farce 
throughout, and resulted in a few doing the work, 
while the majority lay down in small parties before 
they had advanced two hundred yards. 

Fortunately, the enemy offered very little oppo- 
sition. They only fired a few straggling shots, 
and then slipped stealthily away, so stealthily as to 
be almost unnoticeable ; in fact, one of the Pieters- 
burg men (T. H. McArthur), who was amongst the 


first to meet the fire, remarked, " I did not see more 
than half a score of them during the whole morning's 

A stad belonging to Malaboch's brother was 
burned, the occupants having left just previous to 
our arrival. 

On reaching the summit, the mountain gun was 
placed in position, and operations were commenced 
on the surrounding bush, where it was thought the 
enemy might be concealed. 

The combined forces, having mustered on the top 
of the berg, they immediately commenced to build a 
fort, a task soon accomplished, there being plenty of 
loose stones lying about 

Forty men, chosen from the Pretoria and Zout- 
pansberg contingents, were then left to man it, until 
the Waterburgers returned to take possession. This 
position was a most important one, and proved to be 
the key of the whole berg. 

The only casualty of the day happened to a young 
fellow named George, who received a slight wound in 
the neck, and the incident proved to be of a most 
laughable nature. 

The men had met at the fort, when a loud report 
was heard, and on everyone seizing his rifle, pre- 
paring to return the fire (as they thought), George 
was seen dancing about like a fanatic, holding both 
hands to his neck, and shouting out, " I have got 
it ! " Everyone thought he had been shot, some 
asserting that it was a revolver bullet, but on Mr. 
Snyman, of Pietersburg, examining the wound, he 


found it to have been caused by the explosion of a 
detonator from a shell. How it came there nobody 
knew, but it was that that caused Mr. George to 
have " got it." 

Great dissatisfaction prevailed in camp at the 
absurdly inadequate supply of provisions and cloth- 
ing ; wagons had arrived, bringing with them one 
bag of coffee, four bags of meal, four boxes of candles, 
six pairs of kharki trousers, and four Kafir blankets. 
These were for the supply of the whole laager. We 
had had no sugar issued for over a fortnight, only 
four pockets (weighing about seventy-five pounds 
each) having been loaded in Pretoria for the use of 
six hundred men. At that time a number of men 
were without blankets, boots, and other necessaries ; 
several were literally walking about in rags. One 
man, who had badly torn his clothes while climbing 
the hill the previous day, had to borrow a mackintosh 
from one of his comrades, in order to hide his rags 
and to appear on parade. In this garment he 
performed his daily duties. Mr. Piet Zeederberg 
left the camp for the purpose of purchasing supplies, 
but it was an almost indisputable fact that in the 
whole of the Zoutpansberg district not more than 
one hundred bags of meal could be obtained. The 
urgency of the situation could not have been too 
strongly impressed upon the Government, as any 
addition to the great dissatisfaction then prevailing 
could only have led to the most disastrous results. 

Commandant Pretorius, who had been for five days 
on a most successful patrol, proved, by the numbers 


of cattle lie had captured, that the information given 
with regard to Malaboch's attempt to send his cattle 
over the border was correct. 

Kiviet and Mapen, two friendly Chiefs, were 
assisting us by harassing Malaboch on the other 
side of the mountain. 

During the advance of the Waterberg commando 
a young Kafir girl was unfortunately shot. She had 
received no less than three bullets. The mistake was 
quite unavoidable, owing to the blackness and density 
of the bush. 

Whilst occupied in building a fort for the reception 
of one of the six-pounders, a man was severely bitten 
in two places by a scorpion, but receiving immediate 
treatment from Dr. Mader there were no serious 

The General was now said to be quite convalescent. 
The health of the camp continued good, but owing 
to the insufficient supply of vegetables, there were 
several cases of veld sores. 

After the fighting was over the bodies of more 
than thirty natives were found, but these were 
supposed to represent but one-third of the enemy's 
loss. At one of the captured schantzes Austin, 
Mauritz, and Gerard drew my attention to the 
mark of one of our bullets which was within two 
inches of one of the loop-holes. The shooting of 
the natives, so far as direction went, had been good ; 
but they did not seem to understand elevation, and 
judging by the sound of their bullets, their ammuni- 
tion was of very inferior quality. Had the positions 


we had taken been defended by a score of determined 
men, there was not the slightest doubt that we could 
never have obtained a footing. Numerous schantzes 
had been thrown up in places commanding the whole 
hill, and another splendid cover was afforded by the 
bush and rocks, which cover was fully taken advan- 
tage of by the invading forces as they gradually 
approached the stronghold. 

( 63 ) 



Although an attack on the laager was highly- 
improbable, owing to the positions of the guns 
already established on the kopjes, yet, I must confess, 
I was not without fears, and spent several restless 
nights in consequence. Had I known then, what 
I learned by observation soon after, I could have 
spared myself such unnecessary anxiety ; for all 
through the campaign the poor Malabochians were 
seldom, if ever, the aggressors, their attitude being 
nothing more or less than a gentle protest against 
what they considered an unjust encroachment on 
their ancestral rights. 

Had they been as strong as their neighbour Magato, 
our position (owing to the prevailing discontent and 
the fact of there being no organisation amongst the 
troops) would have been most critical. As it was 
they realised that they were the weaker and would 
have to give way sooner or later ; hence their lack of 
courage. I firmly believe that had Malaboch's life 
been guaranteed him from the first, both he and 
his people would have surrendered without having 
fired a shot 


The Rustenburg and Zeerust commandoes had not 
yet joined the forces. 

With reference to the want of provisions, an 
attempt was made to buy some Boer meal from a 
passing wagon, but business was prevented by the 
owner demanding sixty-five shillings a bag (200 lbs.). 
A small quantity of sugar, however, was bought at 
a very high figure. 

The next day Laager-Commandant Schutte gave 
orders for the removal of the camp to a position 
immediately at the foot of the mountain, where a 
much better and purer water supply was obtain- 

A most unfortunate incident happened to-day : a 
number of Kafir women went to the fort (at night), 
which was built on the second kopje, believing it 
to be held by their own people. The occupants 
of the fort being under the impression that the 
enemy was attacking, fired, killing one child and 
taking nine women prisoners. 

The report was that all food had been removed 
from Malaboch's kraal, and the natives were fleeing 
towards Zoutpansberg to seek refuge in Magato's 

Arrangements were now made for the storming of 
Malaboch's mountain from all sides. 

The Middelburgers arrived and formed a laager. 
All the men of the various contingents were in 
excellent health. 

In the evening I received cheering letters from 
the Rev. Canon Fisher, Rev. R. J. P. Dunbar, and 

[7a fart pngt M. 



Mrs. Bousfield ; they also sent a number of papers 
and magazines, which were very welcome. 

The next morning the mountain was enveloped in 
smoke, so that nothing could be seen of the enemy's 
tactics. At an early hour, the Colonel, in charge of 
sixty men, started for the purpose of making another 
attack. After the sun had risen the smoke gradually 
disappeared, and the various shades of green on the 
mountain were very artistic. I saw many huts still 
burning in various places, and they formed a vivid 
and gruesome contrast to the otherwise peaceful 
appearance of Blaauwberg. Presently, through my 
field-glasses, I espied our artillery at the summit of 
one of the kopjes preparing to shell the bush. 

Corporal Gert Botha received orders to proceed 
with twenty-one men to a kopje on the mountain, 
already occupied by Lieutenant Holzer and a few 
men; Jacques, Mauritz, and Austin were amongst 
those selected. Doctor Liknaitzsky and I accom- 
panied them. We started at 11.15 a.m. on foot, 
taking with us each an overcoat, a blanket, and some 
provisions. On our arrival at noon, we found 
Holzer's party had already commenced to build a 
fort ; everyone assisted in this operation, and while 
removing a stone, Holzer called me to look at a large 
scorpion, the first and only one I have ever seen. 
When the fort was finished, it was named, in honour 
of the Lieutenant, " Fort Holzer." Guards were put 
on all round the fort ; ten* of the men had gone to 
some deserted kraals below, and had set fire to about 



thirty huts, the glare of which illuminated the whole 
kopje. They returned with many curios, such as clay- 
pots, calabashes, caskets, sticks of tobacco leaf, and 
neck ornaments. Coetzee, one of the party, brought 
back a necklace, quite a work of art, made from the 
bones of a mamba. 

We had to wait a long time for water, which was 
some distance off Everything was perfectly calm, 
not one of the enemy being visible. We made our 
supper off coffee and army rations, and last, but not 
least, the cake which Mrs. Burnham had so thought- 
fully packed amongst the other nice things; very 
few knew of this, so that it came as a surprise, and 
was much appreciated. Darkness had now set in, 
and everybody prepared to retire, excepting of course 
the guards. We observed the enemy's camp-fires 
on a neighbouring kopje, but they were suddenly 
extinguished by a shell, sent in that direction by the 
artillery. All this was a strange experience to me, 
but I slept well, though our beds on the stony 
ground were naturally hard and rough. With con- 
venient stones for pillows, and our topcoats for 
blanketing, we spent the night undisturbed in any 
way by the enemy, but the report of the big gun, 
fired at long intervals, prevented us from sleeping too 
soundly ; we also heard in the night a most pitiful 
bleating, which we found in the morning to have 
emanated from a poor little kid. 

The howling, too, of some wolves caused us some 
uneasiness ; but we all came safely through the night, 





-' BnVPKoMEjL i ] / 

\v * 

Hi ^SE»^f5< ■'■I -A 

1 J ^4--:. 




and anxiously awaited our relief. Early in the morn- 
ing, Gerard, Jacques, Austin, and myself went out 
to explore. It was a very pretty spot, densely 
wooded, and there were wild oranges and peaches 
growing in the bush; ferns, too, grew in great 

On a rock close by, we saw the marks of the 
enemy's bullets, which were fired at the skirmish 
already described by Austin Brook. 

In a cave which we ventured into we found some 
tobacco leaf tied in split sticks, two of which I 
brought away with me. On returning to the fort 
we breakfasted, using as plates and spoons pieces of 
cardboard and chips of wood. Mauritz's plate was a 
piece of cracked stone. 

Our relief, in charge of Sergeant Lovell Taylor, 
arrived at 9.30 A.M., and we at once left the kopje 
and reached the camp at 10.15, having been away 
twenty-three hours. We found everything very 
quiet ; most of the men were busily engaged erecting 
tents of extraordinary shapes; they consisted of 
blankets of all shades of colour. News reached us 
that some of Mathala's men had made prisoners of 
several women. They killed all the children and a 
man, and while in the act of killing the old women 
they were discovered by some Boers, who immediately 
stopped such inhuman proceedings; they (Mathala's 
men) explained that it was their custom in time of 
war to kill all old people and boys, saving only the 
girls and young women. These latter were perquisites 

F 2 


of the Chief, who, in turn, bartered them to his people 
as wives, taking cattle in exchange. 

Adding insult to injury, they loaded their prisoners 
with the spoil they had taken, and drove them on 
before them to the camp. I saw them come in, and 
they were then handed over to Commandant Vorster^ 
who took charge of them. 

( 69 ) 



The next morning (Sunday), after holding service, I 
accompanied eight of our mess up the mountain to 
several deserted caves in search of curios ; but there 
were very few to be found, some of the party 
brought back large baskets used by the Kafirs for 
carrying corn in. I found a horn full of poison and 
a few Kafir beads. 

On the Monday, as nothing definite had been 
settled regarding action, most of the men went out 
fishing. The place selected was a most beautiful spot, 
the river banks being one mass of maidenhair ferns ; 
but no fish of any consequence were caught. 

On our return to camp we visited a kraal that was 
burned on our arrival, and found our men very busy 
digging; they had discovered enormous baskets of 
corn buried in the earth ; twenty-two muid sacks full 
of corn were taken out of one of these baskets. The 
corn was very good. It was a glorious find, as our 
horses were almost without food. 

The baskets were quite a work of art, and must 
have taken a long time to make. They varied in 
diameter from twelve to twenty-five feet. 

Malaboch arranged an armistice for twenty-four 


hours, promising to interview the General in the camp 
the next day. Mr. Schmidt, who was attached to the 
medical department, went into the Hoofstad, with 
two Kafirs, to interview the Chief. This he did at 
his own peril, and not by the direction of the Com- 
mandant, who declined to guarantee his safety. 
Everything was very quiet, not a shot had been fired 
all day, hostilities having temporarily ceased ; we were 
now anxiously awaiting the arrival of Malaboch. 
Gerard and Jacques went to guard Fort Holzer. It 
was windy, and the cloud-swathed Blaauwberg 
presented a beautiful spectacle in the gleam of the 
early sunlight I drew the Colonel's attention to it, 
who remarked, " I don't remember seeing anything 
more beautiful." 

The provisions question was still exercising the 
minds of everybody. Upon information received, I 
give the following figures, which show the total 
amount of rations issued to Veld-Cornet Botha's 
Laager during the whole time they had been out 
from Pretoria — twenty-five days : three-quarters of 
a pound of coffee, a few pannikins of Boer meal, one 
pound of Kafir beans, one small pannikin of sugar, 
and five or six oranges. It will thus be seen that the 
rations issued by Government, if unsupplemented by 
private contributions, would have been quite insuffi- 
cient even to maintain existence. 

The result of this state of affairs was that numbers 
of men in this and Veld-Cornet Roos' commando 
openly said that they would not go up the mountain 
unless food was found. The Pretoria contingent, too, 


threatened to " strike," and had not provisions been 
sent the consequences would have been serious. The 
commissariat stores, with the exception of meat, were 
practically exhausted, there only being sufficient Boer 
meal, mealie meal, and coffee to serve as one day's 

It was difficult to understand how, with a force of 
such dimensions, the most important department (the 
commissariat) had been so grossly neglected ; but 
such had proved the case, for the total supplies 
loaded up in Pretoria consisted, as I have already 
stated, of four pockets of sugar, fifteen bags of meal, 
a few boxes of candles, and one bag of rice (the latter 
almost unfit for food), and this was supposed to be 
sufficient for the requirements of six hundred men. 
Had it not been for the fact that most of the messes 
had privately provided themselves with extra pro- 
visions, over and above the eight days' rations 
expected from them, starvation pure and simple 
would have had to be faced when only half the 
journey had been accomplished. As to blankets and 
clothing, the amount issued was not worth mention- 
ing. Someone had blundered, and on whomsoever the 
blame rested, he should have been made to suffer. 
But for the good temper of the majority of the men 
commandeered, a very serious crisis might have 
arisen; for it was no child's play to have to go on 
short rations at so early a stage in the proceedings. 
As it was* whilst the Pretoria men, for the most part, 
contented themselves with a quiet grumble (some of 
them, I must confess, used rather forcible language), 


many of the Boers openly asserted that they would 
go no further unless proper food was provided for 
them. They did go, however, after much persuasion. 

Malaboch failed to keep his appointment with the 
General, and the armistice having expired, orders 
were given for the whole force, cavalry as well as 
infantry, to hold themselves in readiness by 2 A.M. 
for a combined attack on the enemy. Before retiring 
I held a quiet religious service in my wagon. There 
were present Lieutenant Holzer, Sergeants Lovell, 
Taylor, Kenny Shepherd, and Trooper Mauritz Preller. 
All the men had taken the situation seriously to heart, 
and anticipated disastrous results. 

I received pathetic notes from some of the com- 
batants asking me to write to mothers, sisters, and 
last, but not least, sweethearts, in the event of 


( 73 ) 



A heavy engagement, in which all contingents came 
into action, was fought to-day (June 20). At two 
o'clock in the morning all the men in the Pretoria 
Laager were paraded, and a few having been told off 
to secure the safety of the camp in the event of a 
surprise, the rest proceeded to the base of the moun- 
tain immediately below the big spur. It is almost 
impossible to realise the dangerous nature of this 
scramble. The zigzag Kafir path wound in and out 
of the bush, in which it would have been possible to 
place thousands and thousands of natives without 
their being seen, whilst in case of an attack, it would 
have been a matter of extraordinary difficulty, if not 
an absolute impossibility, either to advance or retreat. 
Had the forces been attacked with assegais by the 
natives during the ascent, I doubt whether one would 
have been left alive to tell the tale, and it puzzled me 
to understand why a path was chosen for us to go up, 
where it was necessary that we should move in single 
file. As it was, Providence favoured us, and we were 
allowed to pass through the mountainous part of the 
bush without being fired upon. When we had got up 
about seven hundred feet, the crackling of the bushes 


as we forced our way through them startled some 
baboons, and they immediately began calling to one 
another. This is supposed to have given the alarm 
to the Kafirs ; but whether it was that or the blowing 
of a whistle a few minutes later to order our advance, 
I do not know. We emerged from the bush, and 
were collected in a group on a small flat amongst 
some mealie stalks from which the corn had been 
gathered. Here we rested and awaited orders. This 
brought us to the base of the kopje, which we were 
to take, and we were trying to find a way of ascent. 
I was standing on a huge boulder, Lieutenants Eloff 
and Holzer being a few yards in front of me, noticing 
a narrow pathway on the kopje, I was calling Holzers 
attention to it when suddenly a volley was poured 
into us from the cliffs above. Clubbed together as 
we were in the bright moonlight, we were plainly 
visible, and offered a good mark to the enemy, whilst 
they, being concealed in crevices of the cliffs, were 
only discernible by the puffs of smoke from their 
rifles. When the first shots came whistling about 
our ears most of the men hurriedly placed themselves 
under cover. I jumped, or rather fell, off the stone 
on which I was standing, and ran to a much smaller 
one, behind which were four men lying down flat. I 
followed their example, keeping my head well down. 
While in this position a young fellow came to me 
with the question, "Are you lying on my cart- 
ridges ? " Without raising my head I felt for them, 
and drew out an old pocket-handkerchief full of 
cartridges, which I handed to him. All this time 


the missiles were flying round us with a ping and a 
whiz, and I fancied I received one in my leg ; it was 
only fancy, however, for it struck a young fellow 
named Haupt, who was lying on my right, and who 
marvellously escaped unhurt, it passing clean through 
his coat and trousers without even touching his 

I must here mention the conduct of Veld-Cornet 
Botha ; for as soon as the enemy opened fire, he called 
to his men to withdraw, and they followed him along 
the hill to a considerable distance. Grasping the 
situation, Colonel Ferreira at once gave the order to 
his men to advance and storm the kopje three or four 
hundred yards higher up to the right. The Colonel 
was within an ace of being shot himself, a bullet 
whizzing by close to his ear. Once w r e reached the 
kopje we should be practically out of immediate 
danger, for it was covered with tangled foliage which 
screened us from view. A few men were left at the 
foot to guard the hill, in case the Kafirs came round, 
in turn, to storm it. The rest clambered up to the 
top. As we ascended, I saw many of Botha's men, 
concealed in the bushes, trying to persuade the 
Pretoria men from going up. They said it was too 
dangerous, and that they would all be cut oft*. They 
were evidently surprised to see me pass, for I heard 
them remark, "Kijk! daar gaan de Predikant" 
(Look! there goes the parson). We found that a 
large body of natives had ensconced themselves 
amongst some boulders on the mountain just opposite 
to us, about four hundred yards away ; but a heavy 


fire from our men forced them to beat a hasty retreat, 
several of them being picked off. A party of fifteen 
men was then sent out under Lieutenant Schroeder, 
and they gradually worked round a kraal to a kopje 
some thousand yards away, burning many huts in 
their progress, and being subjected to a harassing 
fire from the Kafirs, who, however, retreated into 
the bush as we advanced. A little while after, our 
flag was hoisted on the kopje taken by Schroeder. 
Adjutant Eloff was despatched with five Kafirs and 
three white men to take possession of the intervening 
ground; their advance was steadily opposed, but 
when the natives fell back into the bush their fire 
ceased, only to reopen, however, when Eloff effected 
the capture of some sheep. He then succeeded in 
joining Schroeder, from whom five men had separated, 
who at one time stood a very good chance of being 
cut off altogether, the enemy apparently closing in 
on them, and sending a regular hail of bullets among 

The arrival of ElofFs little party brought a lull for 
the time being ; and it was thought, incorrectly as it 
afterwards turned out, that the enemy had beaten 
a retreat Having advanced so far with success, 
another party under command of Lieutenant Holzer 
was sent out, and they were afterwards joined by five 
men from Schroeder. Together they went fully two 
miles into the enemy's country, coming into fine 
open ground after emerging from the bush. 

They were greeted with a warm fire from the very 
top of the mountain, but again Providence was with 


us, for all escaped scot-free, though one man had a 
big piece of the stock of his rifle shot away by a 
bullet from the enemy. 

They ultimately managed to reach a kopje which 
undoubtedly held a most commanding position, the 
ground all round being perfectly clear ; they had not 
long been there when a number of cattle were seen 
coming down the valley, and when they came up to 
the kop, half-a-dozen men were sent to seize them, 
which was successfully effected. The enemy above 
did all he could to prevent this capture, by keeping 
up a continual fire. Holzer then sent for reinforce- 
ments, and Colonel Ferreira, having left a half-dozen 
men to protect the big kopje, advanced himself with 
the rest. The Makatese struggled hard to prevent 
the union of the forces, but without avail; and 
then, twenty men being left at the kopje to cover 
our retreat, the rest proceeded to drive back the 
captured cattle. Whilst we were moving towards 
our original position, we were the recipients of 
continuous volleys from the mountain, and when 
half-way, came between a cross-fire, the Kafirs 
having got on to the hills behind us. There was 
a constant pit-pat as the bullets cut up the ground 
at our feet. Mr. Jenkins, the "Press" war corre- 
spondent, had a very narrow shave at this time ; he 
had a white blanket rolled up and slung over his 
shoulders. On leaving Holzer's kopje, he was chaffed 
about carrying this blanket, being told that he would 
be a good mark for the enemy. He laughed, but 
sure enough a bullet went clean through the roll, 


and it was only its thickness that saved his life. 
Thus it showed how well directed was the firing to 
which we were subjected the whole time. We got 
the cattle back to our hill, and then Holzer's people 
. started to fall back on us. They had to fight inch 
by inch, and it was evident that strong reinforce- 
ments had been, and were being, sent up to Malaboch. 
A party, consisting of Sergeant Lloyd Gates and three 
men, went down to get some water from a stream 
close by, and were assailed from all sides ; so hot was 
the fire that they could only advance by crawling 
from boulder to boulder on their hands and knees. 
We on the top of the kopje could hear the heavy 
fusilade, and were in a state of great anxiety. 
Whilst this was happening nine men had been told 
off to drive the cattle down the mountain, and they 
started to do so. They were not allowed to proceed 
far, however ; for having got into a kraal they were 
attacked on three sides. 

Matters were very critical with them, but seeing 
that it would be impossible to attempt to get the 
cattle off the mountain by that path, Mr. Sutton, 
who had charge of the detachment, decided to try 
and get back to the kopje. Once more, by the hand 
of Providence, all returned safely. 

( ™ ) 



By this time the enemy was keeping those of us who 
were on the kopje busily occupied by firing volley 
after volley on us, evidently with the idea of keeping 
us from sending out reinforcements, and they could 
be seen covering the mountain sides in swarms. The 
activity of Sergeant Lloyd Gates, who was en- 
deavouring to divert their attention from the cattle 
party by quick firing, must, however, have puzzled 
them immensely, and apparently they believed that 
he had a strong contingent with him. Be this as it 
may, the cattle were brought back in safety. Realising 
the position of Gates, Sergeant Lever, with twenty- 
nine men, was sent to render him assistance ; we 
were thankful enough when we saw them all return 

Only those who were present and saw everything 
could comprehend what a case of touch and go it was 
the whole time. 

And now our position on the kopje had become so 
critical that a despatch was sent to Veld-Cornet 
Botha for reinforcements. He had spent the day 
building a fort in the Kafir gardens, in a position 
which could hardly be regarded as serviceable. He 


declined to send the required assistance, and, acting 
in his capacity as Commandant, in the absence of 
Commandant Erasmus, he ordered Colonel Ferreira 
to abandon the kopje, and retire with his men, an 
order which, though easy to give, was not so easily 
effected. We were, in fact, placed in a very critical 
position, and had the desired reinforcements been 
sent, we could have forced the enemy to retreat, and 
not only held our own kopje, but could have held 
Holzer's Kop, which gave us the command of the 
country for several miles on either side, and from 
which the chief stad could have been stormed with a 
certain amount of impunity ; as it was, without rein- 
forcements, the kopje was untenable. In the mean- 
time, the Colonel had given orders to build a fort, 
and every man was actively engaged in gathering 
stones for this purpose. While this was going on, I 
was, by direction of the Colonel, looking out for the 
enemy through my field-glasses. To get a better 
view, I stood on a rock, but had not been there long 
when bang ! bang ! and a bullet whizzed past my left 
ear. Down went the stones, and every man flew to 
his rifle. Being (of course) unarmed, I sought shelter 
amongst the crags of the rocks, followed by Sergeant 
Kenny Shepherd, who had mislaid his rifle whilst 
building the fort. While in this place of conceal- 
ment, Kenny pointed out to me the mark on the 
rock where the bullet that passed me had struck. It 
is difficult to me to describe my feelings at this time. 
The most natural thing that occurred to me to do 
was to duck my head, which of course is very 


absurd. This I did, however, no less than four times 
that day, for I had four providential escapes before 
we returned to camp. In ducking, when the enemy 
first opened fire on us, my hat fell off; I at once 
scrambled for it, thinking it might be a protection 
for my head. Orders were then given for every- 
body to man the fort, a heavy firing going on 
from both sides the whole time. I scarcely liked 
the idea of leaving my place of safety, but did 
so. Bullet after bullet struck the stones of the 
fort on which the Colonel was seated. He dis- 
played remarkable coolness and courage, and I have 
the greatest admiration for him. The true character 
of the man, as a soldier, was here exemplified, for 
there he sat immovable, calmly giving his orders to 
his men. At his invitation, I sat below him, and 
remained there till the firing ceased. To stay on the 
kopje for the night would have meant massacre ; 
surrounded as we were on all sides by dense bush, we 
could not have seen the approach of the enemy until 
they were right on us. To come down the hill, 
particularly driving on the cattle in front of us, down 
a slope which was almost precipitous in parts, meant 
that, directly we reached the open, we would be 
exposed to a raking fire, which, under ordinary 
circumstances, would have accounted for most of us. 
We knew full well that Malaboch's men were arriving 
in numbers every minute, for where only one had 
been seen in the morning, twenty were now observ- 
able. Besides, our ammunition was running short, 
for we had been fighting for ten solid hours. How- 



ever, there was no time to be lost, and we slowly 
descended, the last men on the kopje firing a few 
volleys to cover our retreat. There was a complete 
silence on the part of the Kafirs whilst we were 
climbing down under cover of the bush, and it was 
apparent that all this time they were moving parallel 
with us on the other side. Directly we came into 
the open, they, as anticipated, commenced firing. 
Whilst some of the men drove the cattle ahead, the 
others remained to return volley for volley, and I 
should say the Kafirs must have suffered severe loss, 
for after a few minutes of warm work they ceased to 
molest us. I am glad to say Botha's men rendered 
us invaluable assistance by covering our retreat, and 
two beautifully placed shells from the artillery must 
liave caused the enemy further consternation. Alto- 
gether, the Pretoria contingent brought down one 
hundred and two head of cattle, several having been 
shot during the fight. 

Perhaps I ought to state that Colonel Ferreira duly 
authorised the detachments sent out early in the day 
to advance only five hundred yards, but circum- 
stances forced them to go further. The capture of 
the cattle was a most fortunate incident. It was five 
o'clock before the fighting really ceased. A man 
named Lombard was missing from the Pretoria 
laager, and we supposed him to be killed, but our 
suspicions were groundless, for he walked into camp 
later on. 

Meanwhile, while matters were proceeding, as 
described, at our end of the mountain, the Waterberg 


commando had attacked the kopje on the right of the 
mission station, and with them were two guns. They 
reached the top of the hill without loss, and then 
advanced in the direction of the hoofstad. They 
were allowed to proceed some distance with nothing 
more than a desultory fire to face ; then they were 
suddenly attacked on every side, and awoke to the 
fact that they had been entirely surrounded. The 
natives came on with great assurance, and the utmost 
difficulty was experienced in repelling them, although 
our fire must have created considerable panic amongst 
them. The Kafirs steadily closed in, and almost 
before the Boers realised what had occurred, the 
enemy had gained possession of one of the cannons, 
and was dragging it off. It was an exciting moment, 
for the Kafirs were attacking with assegais at close 
quarters, and a disaster seemed imminent, but pluck 
and nerve saved the day. Two Kafirs, who had 
seated themselves astride the cannon, were shot dead 
by one bullet, and several others fell victims to a 
well-timed rush. The Waterberg men recovered 
possession of the cannon, but from the overwhelming 
number of the enemy, it was seen that there was no 
alternative but to beat a retreat, especially as already 
several of our men had been wounded. So a retro- 
grade movement commenced, and, to use the graphic 
language of one who was in the fight, " the path 
taken along the retreat was marked with blood " ; for 
every Kafir that must have fallen, others seemed 
ready to take his place. The Waterberg commando 
fought gallantly, but it was a fight for life. If it 

o 2 


had not been that the Kafirs were busy in our 
direction, it is possible that they would all have 
perished, and similarly, but for the Waterbergers, it 
is difficult to conceive what would have happened to 
us, for it was only after they had driven back the 
Waterberg people that Malaboch's reinforcements 
came up against us. Half-an-hour earlier the con- 
sequences would have been frightful. The Water- 
berg losses were : one white man killed, six seriously 
wounded, and ten Kafirs wounded. Amongst the 
wounded were two of Veld-Cornet Botha's sons ; one 
was shot in the back, and the other in the arm. 


( 85 ) 



In the small hours of the next morning an urgent 
request was received in the Pretoria laager for 
assistance to be sent to the Waterberg Fort, as they 
were in great danger, and thirty mounted men were 
sent at daybreak. Heavy firing had been heard from 
that direction, and it was thought that another 
engagement was in progress; the kopje taken by 
them was the same as that where Messrs. Jenkins 
and Ebbage were fired on the previous day. They 
then noticed, as already reported, that the enemy 
was in force upon it, although up to then it was 
surmised that the Kafirs had fled to the heights. 
Since the reverse of the previous day the enemy had, 
it was stated, taken possession of all the kopjes along 
the face of the mountain, which were previously held 
by us. 

Dr. Mader and Mr. Fred Neel had an exciting 
experience. I had called them at 2 A.M., according to 
a previous arrangement, and as they were not ready 
when the column advanced I went without them. 
They followed, however, later on, but somehow or 
other missed the road, and consequently went up the 
mountain about two miles to the left of us. To 


quote Neel's own words : " We left the laager at nine 
o'clock with the intention of joining your party, and 
when half-way up the berg came suddenly upon a 
large kraal, at which there were a lot of natives, two 
of whom were skinning a goat. These two Kafirs 
at once espied us, and immediately gave the alarm to 
their companions, whereupon numbers of them came 
out armed. We saw at once that retreat was out of 
the question, so, taking the bull by the horns, we 
poured in shot after shot in rapid succession, to make 
the natives believe we were in force. They replied 
with several scattered shots, and must have aimed 
well, as one of their bullets went clean through my 
hat (Neel showed me the hat with the bullet mark in 
it), which I had placed upon a rock beside me. They 
then fled, but we killed seven of them and captured 
nine goats, and there the goats are," and here 
Mr. Neel pointed to the goats, which were secured to 
the wagon. 

The names of the wounded were as follows : 
R. P. Botha, in the arm ; H. G. Botha, hip bone ; Nel, 
ankle ; Pistorius, foot ; B. Kruger, abdomen ; H. 
Helburg, arm. 

It was reported that Malaboch had been joined by 
two thousand men from the chief tainess Majajie, and 
there appeared to be some truth in this statement, 
judging by the number of Kafirs engaged. It was 
noticed that numbers of them were armed with 

The Rustenberg commando, consisting of four 
hundred and sixty men, arrived to-day. 


The storming of the kopje by the Pretoria 
contingent was undertaken on the strengh of in- 
formation supplied by Mr. Barend Vorster, to the 
effect that it was all open country at the top. This 
proved to be a mistake and at total variance with 
the truth. 

After the attack on the mountain, and the excite- 
ment consequent thereon had subsided, the camp was 
quiet ; and to relieve the monotony of our life 
Fred Neel suggested the publication of a cyclo- 
styled newspaper, to contain accounts of any incidents 
deemed of interest to the campaigners. The first 
(and unfortunately the last) issue of this paper, called 
The Malaboch Extinguisher, came out on the 23rd 
June. Mr. Neel was an artist of no mean talent with 
pen and pencil, and the non-issue of this little 
brochure after its first number was keenly felt. 

During this temporary lull in active operations I 
was cheered by receiving encouraging letters from 
the Bishop, Mrs. Bousfield, Canon Fisher, Rev. 
R J. P. Dunbar, Mr. Burnham, Mrs. Sinclair, and 
others. Indeed, I looked forward with much pleasure 
to the mail days, and I have to tender my sincere 
gratitude to Mrs. Bousfield for sending me regularly 
the illustrated and other papers, which were much 
enjoyed by all. 

I often accompanied the doctors on their rounds, 
and assisted in dressing the wounds of those maimed 
in the attacks on the mountain. The wounds of the 
brothers Botha were serious, especially that of the 
elder one, who was wounded in the arm. The one 


wounded in the hip was not in such imminent 
danger, the bullet having passed through his side 
without scarcely touching the bone. The doctor was 
not sure of being able to save the limb of the 

Before retiring at night I received a telegram 
addressed " Rae Pretoria Laager," it ran thus : — " If 
does not return my oxen, run him in for theft." 
This puzzled me for a little time, and as no name 
was given I could not understand who was referred 
to, and when first reading it, it struck me that 
I had been charged with stealing the captured oxen, 
especially as there was a rumour in camp that many 
were missing. I showed it to my comrades, who 
advised me to return it to the postmaster in Pretoria. 
This I did and I heard no more of it. 

The Rev. Mr. Coetsee, of Pietersburg, arrived in 
camp and held a service for the Dutch, returning 
home a few days afterwards. I held regular services 
every Sunday morning and evening, generally under 
the spacious tent of the medical officer. Nel was 
reported to be in a very critical condition, and while 
service was in progress one Sunday evening, both 
doctors were called away to him. After deliberating 
some time, they decided to amputate the injured 
limb. From the first the doctor held out no hope of 
saving it, and indeed warned the friends of Nel 
against delaying the amputation, saying such delay 
would in all probability prove fatal. His fears 
proved to be only too true, for the next day Nel 
succumbed, mortification having set in before the 


operation was performed. This procrastination on 
the part of the Boers cost many a poor fellow his life, 
and was a source of trial and anxiety to the medical 
officer, whose advice was scarcely ever taken, no 
matter how bad the wound; they always waited in 
order to save the limb, though contrary to urgent 
medical advice. The doctor was helpless in the 
matter, and of course could not operate without first 
of all obtaining the consent of the friends of the 
patient. This was the cause of so many unsuccessful 
operations. There could be no doubt whatever of 
the skill of the warm-hearted doctor, and had he 
been allowed carte blanche the majority of his patients 
would have recovered. As it was, he was abused. 
Knowing as I did all the circumstances, I recognised 
the injustice done to him, who was undoubtedly, as I 
have already stated, most skilful in his profession. 
Poor Nel left a widow and seven children to mourn 
their loss. 

Lieutenant Holzer received orders to proceed with 
fifty men of the infantry to the kopje which had 
been stormed a few days ago. They were to take 
provisions for two days. The party was organised 
and the men paraded, but just before starting, some of 
them had to fall out, owing to the bad condition of 
their boots, for they were actually walking on their 
bare feet The cavalry were ordered to follow later 
on, the Colonel joining them just before dark. The 
camp was almost empty, only Charles Dargan and 
Mauritz Preller being left of my mess to keep me 
company. The night before, a grave had been dug 


under a maroulla tree in the camp for the reception 
of the remains of Nel. This was left perfectly 
open, without any protection whatever, and while 
Mr. Schmidt was on his way to visit a patient, the 
evening being quite dark, he fell into it, damaging 
his knee-cap so badly that he was unable to walk for 
some weeks. It caused him great pain, and he was 
afterwards taken to the mission station, about six 
miles away, where the Kev. C. Sonntag took him 
under his care. 

The funeral service over poor Nel's body was 
conducted by the Revs. Coetzee and Hofmeyer, of 
the Dutch Reformed Church, the deceased having 
belonged to that denomination. 

In response to a request from Malaboch, the 
General granted another armistice of forty-eight 
hours, at the same time informing him that he must 
surrender at the expiration of that period ; but again 
Malaboch failed to put in an appearance. A meeting 
of the Krijsraad was then held, and the plan of the 
final advance on Malaboch's stronghold was formu- 
lated. During the sitting of this raad a petty Chief 
was tried for having twenty of Malaboch's oxen in 
his possession, while proffering friendship to us ; 
he excused himself on the grounds that his Kafirs 
had found the cattle and had divided them amongst 
themselves, he being in ignorance as to their real 
ownership. He was ordered to proceed to Pieters- 
burg by a given date, when he would be dealt with, 
and allotted a location at the end of the war, to 
which he would have to remove. The prisoner 




was defended by Mr. Piet Potgeiter, Commissioner 
of the Waterberg district, having for opposing 
counsel Dr. Tobias on behalf of the State. 

Gauba, one of Malaboch's captains who had paid 
his taxes, moved down from the mountain to a tem- 
porary location. 

Maniet, another captain, had also complied with 
the official demand. 

According to reliable information the number of 
natives in the Hoofdstad was between five and six 

In order to know whether Schmidt had really gone 
up to interview Malaboch, Messrs. A. C. M. Jenkins, 
correspondent for the " Press," and W. R. Ebbage, 
correspondent for " South Africa," rode to Mr. 
Sonntag's mission station, which lay immediately 
below the kopje on which was Fort Erasmus. When 
midway on their journey, and within about three 
hundred yards of the base of the mountain, they 
noticed numbers of Kafirs in various parts of the 
adjoining kopje, and were twice fired upon. On 
arriving at the mission station, Mr. Sonntag was 
found to be absent, having left at sunrise with the 
object of seeing Malaboch, and making a final 
endeavour to persuade him to come down. Whilst 
awaiting his return, Schmidt, who had now recovered 
from his accident, rode up. It appeared that, although 
strongly dissuaded by the missionary, he had on the 
previous afternoon gone up the mountain, accom- 
panied by one of the natives, who had been sent 
down by the recalcitrant Chief with a flag of truce. 


When he had got to within a hundred yards or so of 
the Hoofdstad, he sent the boy on to the kraal, to 
state that he wished to interview Malaboch, and 
asked permission to enter the stad. Malaboch 
returned an answer, that not having his men 
sufficiently in hand for him to guarantee the 
safety of a visitor, it would be better for him to 
postpone the interview until the following day, 
when, his followers being notified of his intended 
visit, would let him pass without molestation, 
Malaboch, however, wanted to know how it was, 
that whilst an armistice was proceeding the Boers 
had fired upon some of his men, whilst he had in- 
structed his Kafirs that they were not to shoot as 
long as it lasted. 

I may here say that the shooting referred to by 
Malaboch was indulged in by some young Boers, 
who, being on outpost duty, were not aware of the 
cessation of hostilities, and who, seeing a fire on the 
mountain side a short distance from their encamp- 
ment, discharged their rifles in that direction. 

Schmidt, disregarding advice, and against the 
direct orders of the Commandant, announced his 
intention of going to Malaboch, and left shortly 
after the departure of the pressmen. 

He stated that from the views he had obtained 
from the stad, the natural facilities for its defence 
could not be overestimated, as in addition to being 
situated in a precipitous kloof, the sides of which 
were covered with immense boulders and thick bush, 
the only means of approach had been rendered 


practically impassable by the means of well- 
constructed and concealed schanzes. 

Mr. Sonntag stated that Malaboch had not been 
down from the mountain for about three years, 
and was now fully determined not to yield, being 
of opinion that he could not rely upon the assurance 
of safety held out to him ; Mr. Sonntag felt that 
all his efforts to induce the Chief to submit quietly 
were futile, and that a fierce resistance might be 
expected before the stronghold was captured. 

Whilst returning to camp, Messrs. Jenkins and 
Ebbage were again fired at twice from the same kopje 
as before, but having taken the precaution to keep 
a respectable distance from the mountain, the bullets 
fell short The result of Malaboch's failure to 
surrender within the specified time, was that orders 
were issued for a general advance at daybreak. The 
mountain would be scaled by the different com- 
mandoes at various points, and a keen encounter was 

A Kafir woman, who had been found by some of 
our men early in the day amongst the bushes, was 
brought into camp in the evening for medical 
attendance. She was in the last stage of starvation, 
having (as she stated) been left by her people, when 
they fled to the mountain, and she had had nothing 
to eat or drink for six days. 

It was said that Malaboch's people were in fearful 
distress, there being no corn in the stad to feed them 
with, owing to their inability to reap. 

One of Malaboch's men came into camp last 


evening in a starving condition. He said he had 
eaten no food for some days. He was given a 
good square meal, and the next day was made use of 
as a guide. 

Dr. Tobias and Kling left the camp with some 
" boys " to join the forces, taking with them provisions 
for the Pretorians on the mountain. 

Some of our Kafirs came down from the mountain 
to-day (26th June), and stated that Jonker, a 
Pretorian, was wounded. He had entered a kraal 
for the purpose of loot, and, whilst thus occupied, 
was fired at by a Kafir sharpshooter from the top of 
Inswanza Krantz, the bullet entering the upper part 
of his right leg. Jonker fell on the open veld and 
lay there until pluckily brought in by Trooper 
Courady, who carried him on his back, under a heavy 
fire. Dr. Mader and Mr. Neel quickly attended 
to Jonker, and the next morning had him conveyed 
to the laager, where he speedily recovered, in spite 
of the non-discovery of the bullet. Soon after his 
return to Pretoria he suffered considerable pain. The 
bullet was subsequently extracted by Dr. Lingbeek, 
of Pretoria. Jonker, who was but eighteen years of 
age, is now quite well. 


( 95 ) 



Mr. Fred Neel, who had been on the mountain 
for some days, returned into camp this morning ; he 
left Dr. Mader still at the scene of operations. Neel 
immediately set to work to visit the patients and 
dress their wounds. I accompanied him, and rendered 
what assistance I could. We called at the tent of 
Veld-Cornet Botha, whose two sons, as I have already 
stated, were badly wounded. He was standing at the 
tent door, and as Neel attempted to enter, he stood 
in his way, refusing to let him see his sons or do 
anything for them, saying, "Why don't you come 
sooner and oftener ? " He was very angry and 
abusive. I felt sorry for Neel, who had been ex- 
posed on the mountain, with scarcely any rest, and 
that morning had walked from the Pretoria Fort into 
the laager, a distance of about eight miles, and then, 
before having any refreshment himself, had attended 
to the wants of the wounded. To be treated with 
such gross ingratitude, after his self-denying labour, 
was indeed trying ; and what is harder to bear than 
ingratitude ! 

We afterwards walked in the darkness and rain to 
report this to the General, who advised Neel to take 
no farther notice of the incident When we returned 


we were soaking wet to the skin, and I dined with 
Neel, who had not broken his fast since 9.30 A.M. 
(ten hours). 

The weather had been wet and cold, and this 
tried our men very much. Austin Brook was in- 
valided into the laager, suffering from fever caused 
by exposure. 

It was reported that another engagement was 
hourly expected, but no attack had yet been made. 
Messrs. Vlotman, Lever, York, Claridge, and Dr. 
Tobias came into the camp to-day ; they complained 
of the bitterly cold weather, and were looking very 
miserable; all the others they reported were well, 
but having a hard time of it 

The night before the Colonel left the camp he 
dreamed a dream as follows : " I dreamt that I had 
captured a red and white cow, and a black heifer ; 
the latter had a white tip to its tail." Strange to 
say, this dream was fulfilled almost to the letter, for 
that day a cow and a heifer were captured, agreeing 
with this description, except that the heifer had not 
a white-tipped tail. Neel now had to return to the 
mountain to assist the doctor there. Another doctor 
was certainly required ; for although Dr. Liknaitzky 
had, through the generosity of Messrs. Lewis and 
Marks, of Pretoria, accompanied the Pretoria con- 
tingent, and was most energetic in his attendance on 
the wounded, yet he could not be in two places at 
once. He had gone to stay for a few days in the 
Rustenburg Laager, a distance of about six miles 
from that of the Pretorians, so that at this time 


there was not a single medical man left in the 
Pretoria laager to care for the sick and wounded. 
Mr. Idenburg, a chemist, did much to relieve their 
sufferings, both by his skill and sympathy. 

" Boys " were constantly coming down the moun- 
tain for provisions, and Mr, Elliot, the camp baker, 
was busy day and night baking bread and biscuits. 

Messrs. Claridge, York, and Lever returned to the 
mountain the next day (June 29 th), and on their 
arrival they found the Pretorians building a fort. 
They had just captured a kopje overlooking the head 
kraal. The artillery had been shelling the mountain 
all the morning, and the Marico men had also been 
firing on the kraal; the Zoutpansbergers had been 
busily occupied in clearing a heavily bushed kopje of 
the enemy. 

Some hundreds of cattle were captured; it was 
impossible to estimate the loss of the enemy, or the 
effects of the bombardment, as the huts were lying 
amongst the boulders, and the enemy had practically 
deserted their town, and had fled to the rocks and 
caves above it. Commandant Pretorius moved, and 
expected a heavy day with the Pretorians on the 
morrow. Hand-bombs were sent to Commandant 
Trichardt, who intended to attack from above. The 
enemy was now at bay, and likely to make a despe- 
rate resistance. The Middelburgers were also within 
sight of the kraal, and the Marico men were trying to 
cut off the water. Heavy firing was going on, the 
enemy defending the last terrace commanding the 
kraal, which was to be stormed next day. 





The combined forces had now completely closed in 
around the Hoofstad, and it was only a matter of 
hours before it would be consigned to the flames. 

Commandant Vorster and Mapen's and Kiviet's 
people effected a junction with the Pretoria contin- 
gent, and made a further advance, Vorster acting on 
the right flank, Ferreira in the centre, whilst Com- 
mandant Erasmus proceeded with a large number of 
Boers along a krantz to the left. 

The country after leaving Fort Jonker was very 
beautiful, for after crossing over a nek, the road ran 
through a wood, which teemed with luxuriant ferns 
and foliage. On emerging from this we came to a 
fine open plain, with here and there large clumps of 
bush. To the rear of us, about a thousand yards 
away, the mountain rose clear and barren. To our 
left, in which direction Malaboch's stronghold lay, 
the hills were covered with trees and bush so 
thickly that the movements of the enemy there 
could not be observed. An advance through country 
of this description might naturally be supposed to 
be fraught with considerable danger, but strangely 



enough, the Pretorians never found occasion to fire a 
single shot, not a Kafir being seen. Some of Vorster's 
men, however, fired several volleys for the purpose of 
clearing the bush ; and on reaching a suitable kopje, 
the nine-pounder was placed in position by Com- 
mandant Pretorius, and a number of shells were fired 
along the further ridge of hills, so as to displace any 
body of the enemy who might possibly be concealed 
there to oppose the progress of Erasmus and Ferreira. 

At this time Vorster had reached the top of a 
kopje, about half a mile distant, which was supposed 
to cover the stad. On the other side of the hill on 
which was the gun, Colonel Ferreira's force succeeded 
in capturing about two hundred and forty head of 
cattle. Soon after midday, Commandant Erasmus 
was in full possession of the hill overlooking the stad, 
and was there, shortly afterwards, joined by Ferreira. 
During the advance along the top of the hill, Van der 
Venter, a Pretorian, was shot in the arm, but only a 
slight wound was inflicted. As no doctors were in 
camp, we washed the wound and dressed it with 
carbolic oil, and bandaged it up. Jonker had been 
in great pain all day, and I assisted Idenburg in 
giving him a morphine injection. 

The stad was situated about two hundred feet from 
the top of the mountain, on which was the Pretoria 
contingent and a number of the Marico commando. 
It consisted of about fifty huts nestling among huge 
boulders, and appeared to be inaccessible save from 
one direction. It was evident, however, that there 
must be easy communication with an enormous cave, 

H 2 


for on our arrival, although the stad was completely 
deserted, yet every now and again Kafirs would 
come out from a cleft in the rocks, and, after firing 
a few shots, mysteriously disappear again. 

It was reported that a white man, or rather a 
half-cast, was fighting for Malaboch ; he was said to 
be married to two of the Chiefs women, and his 
brother belonged to the Middelburg laager. It was 
supposed that he was the marksman whose accuracy 
of aim at long distances had so astonished our people. 

Whilst the Pretorians were making good their 
tenure of the hill, some desultory firing was going 
on just below, and in the course of this, a Middel- 
burger named John Botha was shot through the head, 
death being instantaneous. He was fired at from a 
cave, within twenty-five yards from the spot where 
he was standing. 

During the afternoon a continuous fire was kept 
up on the stad by our people, but the only result 
appeared to be the slaughter of four oxen, which 
were taken away during the night by the enemy. 
The Rustenburg men, who were on a kopje about 
half a mile away, had meanwhile trained their guns 
on the (supposed) mouth of the cave, and later on 
Commandant Pretorius, from a position on our left, 
did likewise, and there was a constant bombardment. 
This did not, however, deter the enemy from firing 
a few shots at a party of Kafirs, sent out from the 
Rustenburg fort to drive in some cattle which were 
grazing hard by ; fortunately, no damage was 

• « 

TEE CAPTURE OF CATTLE " •"•'. .-V 101 


I ought to have mentioned that two days ago/ 
whilst helping to drag the cannon up the kopje, one 
of the Kustenburg men was shot dead- I have 
remarked upon the almost total lack of opposition 
met with in our advance, and considering the firm 
stand made by the enemy the previous week, could 
only account for their altered tactics by the fact that 
the majority of the enemy had fled, or they had 
sought shelter in caves. It was quite possible that 
some two or three hundred of them were in the caves 
close to the stad, and if this were the case it showed 
the shortsightedness of not providing our forces with 
a searchlight ; for then it would have been impossible 
for the enemy to have come out during the night, to 
obtain either food or water, unobserved ; and their 
submission would have been merely a matter of days ; 
as it was we had no check on their night foraging 
parties. The general opinion was, however, that 
Malaboch's people had scattered themselves all over 
the mountain, with the idea of harassing any parties 
of our men that might be sent down to the laager 
for food or ammunition. This impression was 
strengthened by the fact that not a single detach- 
ment had been allowed to go down the mountain 
without being fired upon from various points. 

While Vorster's Kafirs the day before were busy 
trying to capture some cattle at the back of the 
mountain, it was observed that they were being 
subjected to a very warm fire, evidently directed 
from some caves. They were successful, however, in 
their efforts. 

• " • 

• • • 

• • • 

# • •• 

• • • . 

» » • « • 

• • • 

• • • • • • 

102 •;>. ;:• malaboce 

consisting of two white men and two Kafirs (the 
later unarmed), were proceeding up the mountain, a 
shot was fired at them from a comparatively short 
distance. The Kafirs immediately dropped their 
loads and ran. A search was afterwards made for 
the ammunition, but without avail, and it was 
believed that it must have fallen into the enemy's 
hands. If so, they were enriched to the extent of 
one thousand rounds of ammunition and several hand- 

This incident was the origin of a slight scare in the 
evening. It appeared that Commandant Pretorius 
sent up a red rocket, as a signal that a body of Kafirs 
was moving towards the base of the hill, below the 
forts ; on this, one of the Boer Veld-Cornets threw a 
bombshell, which struck on a rock quite close to 
Ferreira's men ; a few seconds after the explosion it 
was imagined that the enemy was beginning to use 
their new weapons. There was a general expression 
of relief when the truth became known, although, 
even then, it was not pleasant to think that one stood 
the risk of being blown to pieces by one's own 
people at any time. 

It was reported that General Joubert was going 
to the fort himself in a few days, and that some 
further steps would be taken to stir up Malaboch. 

The cliff on which the fort was situated was 
2700 feet above the laager. Judging from appear- 
ances, we were much afraid that the natives were 
going to give us a lot of trouble, and that it would 


be several weeks, and possibly months, before we 
could say that we had thoroughly cleared them out 
of the mountain. Over eight hundred head of cattle 
were brought down from the mountain about this 
time; and, altogether, between one thousand five 
hundred and two thousand had been captured the 
day before. 




There were now several wounded men lying in the 
various laagers, but no hospital accommodation had 
jet been arranged. Jonker and Van der Venter were 
both of them in their respective wagons, and their 
comrades did all they could to relieve them of their 
sufferings. I used generally to visit them, when the 
doctor went his rounds, so as to render what assist- 
ance I could. Mr. Fred Neel was most energetic in 
his attentions to the wounded, and I often accom- 
panied him to the various laagers, which were long 
distances apart. 

On 1st July we rode to the Middelburg laager, and 
after dressing the wounds of the patients, we paid the 
Rev. C. Sonntag a visit. Mrs. Sonntag, with her 
children, had left the district, to escape the perils of 
war. Mr. Sonntag was most kind and hospitable ; he 
informed me how much hurt he was, owing to a report 
in the Johannesburg and Pretoria papers, of his 
having given notice to the enemy of our approach 
by ringing the church bell. " The reports," he said, 
" were fabulous and altogether false. The bell, indeed, 
is rung every morning soon after sunrise, and has 



been for years ; but it is only used for the purpose 
for which it is intended, namely, to call the people 
together for worship. I have done all I can to 
bring Malaboch to reason, even at some risk to my 
life. I have interviewed him three times during the 
last week ; and, indeed, while your forces were going 
up, I preceded them in order to persuade the Chief 
to surrender ; I have always upheld the Government. 

Christianity, culture, and civilisation can only be 
promulgated under a white Government, and no 
matter what may have caused the war, it matters 
not to me ; it is not for me to judge, and so I say 
nothing. I work for the Lord to christianise these 
people, and to try and make them peaceable and 
loyal subjects; this is my sole work, the rest I 
leave entirely. I have no desire to interfere in the 
internal affairs of the country ; politics do not concern 
me, my work lies in another channel altogether. It 
is wicked, sir, very wicked, that such an infamous 
charge should be laid against me. 

I felt for Mr. Sonntag, knowing, as I do, the 
trials of a missionary's life ; in my opinion, there is 
no calling or profession that entails more self-denial, 
patience, and endurance than that of the native 
missionary. I do not altogether agree with their 
modus operandi, for I am in entire sympathy with the 
policy of the Government with regard to the native 
tribes. In bringing the natives out from their 
strongholds, and thus dispossessing the petty chiefs 
of their powers, the Government is doing a much 
better work than any Christian missionary has yet 


accomplished. While in his kraal the native lives an 
idle, useless life ; he struts and squats about like a 
little demi-god, smoking insangu and drinking utyala, 
and otherwise satisfying his animal passions; his 
wives do all the work, and wait upon their lord and 
master, and are looked upon by him as his slaves. 
This is the state of affairs when the Kafir is left to 
himself, and the missionary works among such 
people. His (the missionary's) first object should 
be (and, indeed, must be, if any good results are to 
follow) to teach them that great lesson which was 
practised and taught by the Great Master Himself, 
and of which the greatest of His apostles commanded, 
IC That if any would not work, neither should he eat." 
Yes, before any good can be done with these people 
they must be taught to work, and not to expect 
others to work for them. The Government is to be 
commended for its tact and forethought ; and owing 
to its oneness of purpose, namely, the safety and 
good of the country at all hazards, it will eventually 
succeed. The Kafir when driven from his kraal is 
not left to starve, but may always find employment 
in the various mines at a more than fair wage; 
indeed, his position in this respect is even better than 
that of the white man, several of whom at this time, 
men of high standing and ability, I know to be in 
actual want, and who would be willing to do the 
most menial work to obtain a living. When the 
native is taught to want, then he will work; it is 
no use setting him a good example, which he will 
not follow ; something more forcible must be done. 


He must be kept under control, and subjected to 
discipline, and the keynote must be work ! work ! 
work ! 

Returning to the camp just before dark, I held 
service in the doctor s tent, and retired early. I 
could not sleep, however, as the air was filled with 
continuous and hideous howling ; the dogs barked 
and the horses pranced and neighed. It was perfectly 
clear to us all, that there were some hungry wolves 
prowling about, and some even ventured inside the 
laager, and came quite close to the wagons : a number 
of the men seized their rifles, and went in pursuit. 
We had no sleep all night, for as soon as the chase 
was over, and the party had again retired, the same 
hideous noises were resumed, and continued until 

An amusing incident happened while we were 
breakfasting next morning; a tiny dog with a big 
head, which had been found in one of the kraals, 
and named Malaboch, got his head inside a small 
kettle, and could not get it out again. He was 
howling most piteously ; I tried my best to extricate 
him, but failed. Sergeant Vlotman also tried, w T ith 
the same result At last, I held the kettle, while 
Vlotman pulled the dog ; we were some minutes 
pulling and tugging, but at last succeeded in setting 
him free. I quite expected the animal to leave his 
head in the kettle, but he did not. He was soon 
running about again, just as though nothing had 
happened. " Malaboch in a kettle " became a camp 
by-word after that. 


There was a little desultory firing going on in the 
mountain. I spent a very quiet day, and after 
retiring for the night, I heard two men quarrelling in 
the tent where Jonker lay. They came to a most 
admirable arrangement, by promising to have it out 
the next morning. 

Most of the men in camp visited the burnt-out 
kraals, and commenced digging, in the hope of finding 
more corn for the horses, as all the other had been 
used, and there was no grass to speak of. After 
digging for some time Austin Brook succeeded in 
finding a haul similar to the first lot. 

News was received in camp of the capture of 
Malaboch's father-in-law, by some of the friendly 
Kafirs ; he was immediately sent with a flag of truce 
into the caves adjoining the Hoofdstad to call upon 
Malaboch either to surrender within twenty-four 
hours, or to send out all women and children, as 
in the event of his continuing obstinate, it was 
intended to blow up the caves with dynamite. The 
white flag was carried right up to the stad without a 
shot being fired by the enemy, and when the cave 
was reached a great number of men and women came 
out, and at once ran down with all available utensils 
to the stream near by, it being evident, from their 
eagerness to get water, that they were suffering 
terribly from the pangs of thirst Malaboch re- 
sponded to the message, that if the General would 
withdraw his forces from the mountain, he would 
come out, and asked for an extension of time in 
which to consider the matter, and a delay was 



granted of two days. Consequently, for forty-eight 
hours inactivity reigned ; the Chief not having sub- 
mitted then, hostilities recommenced. All the guns 
on the mountain had kept up a perpetual bombard- 
ment since sunrise, whilst in the course of the 
morning a Hotchkiss was brought into play by 
Captain Schiel. 

The General was undecided whether dynamite 
would be made use of to finish off Malaboch, the 
idea being repulsive to most minds, more especially 
as it was thought, that, being deprived of water, he 
and those who were with him in the caves would be 
forced to submit in the course of a few days. The 
General gave orders that all women and children 
going to the water should be allowed to drink, but 
that all utensils for carrying water be broken; he 
ascended the mountain himself to inspect the various 
positions. Pickets were placed all along the water- 
course to prevent the natives obtaining a supply, and 
it was, further, a matter of extreme difficulty for the 
Kafirs to leave the caves under the heavy fire of the 

Malaboch's relative informed us, prior to taking in 
the flag of truce, that there were over four hundred 
of the tribe seeking shelter in the caves, and it 
was thought, if the statement were reliable, that, 
with either their extinction or their submission, 
the campaign would be brought to a speedy 

Adjutant Sarel Eloff, whose leave from Government 
had expired, left to-day (5th July) for Pretoria, 


accompanied by Sergeant-Major Malan. Young 
Eloff had made himself popular by his 'gentlemanly 
bearing to all and self-possession while under fire. 

Flags of truce were again seen, and, under cover of 
these, Lieutenant Schroeder and six men went on to 
the top of the kopje above the cave, for the purpose 
of finding a good place in which to operate with 
dynamite. With regard to the lamentable lack of 
clothing and boots, there were still numbers of the 
Pretoria men practically unfit for duty, owing to 
their being almost barefooted, although other laagers 
had been practically provided with all necessaries. I 
was utterly at a loss to understand why partiality 
should be shown in this matter. 

There was now a fair supply of provisions, but 
these came none too early. 

There was a report in camp that Magato's people 
had attacked some whites in the Zoutpansberg 
district, but this proved to be camp gossip. 

A supply of medical comforts, kindly sent by 
Mr. Sam. Marks, was received by Dr. Liknaitzky, who 
divided them with Dr. Mader. 

All the wounded were progressing favourably. 

The dynamite had arrived, and Commandant 
Pretorius was trying to obtain men to place it in 
position. Six men of the Pretoria laager were 
eventually engaged by the General for that purpose ; 
and on their guaranteeing the effectiveness of their 
charges, they were promised one hundred pounds 

Three different spots were selected, one immediately 


above the Hoofdstad, and the others on either side of 
the krantz overhanging it. 

While some of Mathaba's Kafirs, who were in 
charge of two artillerymen, were engaged in cutting 
a path to a spot where Malaboch's people had been in 
the habit of obtaining water during the night, they 
were fired upon by the enemy, and two of them were 
wounded. The remainder took to their heels, leaving 
behind them three rifles and two axes; these, 
however, were recovered shortly afterwards. 

By means of a powerful telescope, which had been 
placed on the top of the kopje where the mountain 
gun was in position, an excellent view of the interior 
of the cave was obtainable, and it was observed that 
although the majority of the shells exploded were 
well within the entrance, but few casualties ensued, 
no Kafirs being visible during the cannonading ; from 
this fact it was presumed that the cave was of con- 
siderable extent, the more so, as the number of 
natives seen airing themselves on the adjoining 
ledges, during the temporary cessation of hostilities, 
had been computed at not less than one thousand. 
About two hundred Kafirs of the Waterberg laager 
passed through that of the Pretorian's on their way 
to the General to get their leave. They went through 
many manoeuvres, using their knives, hatchets, 
assegais, and rifles. They had just caught an 
imaginary prisoner and were hacking him to death. 
They looked very fiendish in their general get-up, 
feathers in their wool, and paint on their faces, and 
the war horns sounding at short intervals. Some 


had their faces whitened and were yelling horribly ; 
had they fought in this manner, when in active 
service, they would have been most useful to us ; but 
such was not the case, they were arrant cowards, and 
always fled as soon as they heard a shot fired by the 

In the evening, those of the Boers who were left 
in the laager were singing the Old Hundredth in 
most doleful strains, and it struck me as being quite 
out of place under such circumstances. We were in 
constant fear of being attacked by the routed enemy, 
who was fleeing in all directions ; and as there is a 
time for everything, this was the time to be on the 
alert, to prevent a catastrophe, and not to be lying 
on one's back singing. Had we been attacked, we 
should all have been massacred without the least 

( "3 ) 



The commandeered prisoners already mentioned 
arrived with their guard this evening (6th July) 
none the worse for their journey ; indeed, they were 
looking well and happy. They had no complaints to 
make. Young Mr. Kruger, the officer in charge, had 
been true to his promise of fair play ; in fact, they 
were probably better off than those who came up 
willingly, as their many sympathisers had tendered 
most substantial aid. They occupied an empty tent 
near my wagon, just vacated by Eloff and Malan. 
In the evening a vocal and instrumental concert was 
held by them, one of their number being an adept 
banjoist. . 

During the engagement of the previous day some 
of our men were reported killed, and others wounded. 
I therefore decided to ascend the mountain, so as to 
render what assistance I could, and to hold a reli- 
gious service. Messrs. Brook, Loveday, and Watkins 
were going up the next day, so I availed myself of 
their company. We started at 3.30 A.M., passing 
through the artillery camp en route. Here I noticed, 
to my surprise, more than a hundred Kafirs, armed 
with assegais and knobkerries, at this early hour. 



On enquiry, I found they had been engaged to 
transport fifty-three boxes (each fifty pounds) of 
dynamite to the Pretoria fort, situated just above 
the Hoofdstad, the object being to blow up the caves, 
I must acknowledge that this procession of one 
hundred yards or so of dynamite, carried along by 
sleepy, careless Kafirs, caused me more uneasiness 
than had the enemy in all his exploits. At 4.30, 
fifty-three of the Kafirs each lifted a case of dynamite 
on to his head and filed off, while the remainder 
walked behind to act as a relief party. It was a 
tremendous climb, and one I shall never forget. 
Here, again, I may mention the want of strategy on 
the part of the enemy, for had one shot been correctly 
aimed from amongst the dense bush surrounding 
us, so as to touch off the dynamite, the transport 
party would have been simply annihilated, chaplain 

The mountain scenery, as we ascended, was very 
lovely ; indeed, I do not remember seeing finer vistas 
of bush-clad kloof and berg anywhere. Presently We 
passed a level, grassy plateau, intersected by streams 
of limpid water, and anon, we entered a wild ravine, 
the sides water-worn by mountain torrents. Our 
progress was hindered by boulders of all shapes and 
sizes in chaotic confusion. Owing to the enemy 
allowing us to proceed unmolested, I was able to 
drink in, as it were, the natural beauty and grandeur 
of our immediate surroundings. But my admiration 
of the scenery was rudely disturbed, and my thoughts 
brought back suddenly to the " realities of war " by a 





J. .- ■ 


Kafir clumsily dropping a box of dynamite. Most 
fortunately, the imminent explosion did not come off, 
and after warning the Kafir (and the others as well) 
of the disaster so nearly brought about by his care- 
lessness, we again proceeded, watching the bearers 
now very strictly, as life or death to the whole party 
was literally in the hands of each and all of them. 
It was a relief when, still whole, and in one piece, we 
reached the fort, the journey having occupied some 
six hours. 

I found the fort to have been extremely well chosen 
as regards position. It was practically impregnable 
from the Hoofdstad below, owing to protecting and 
almost overhanging boulders and pinnacles of rock : 
we were thus secured from the enemy's fire as long 
as we remained in the fort ; but to venture, through 
curiosity, outside our natural fortifications, was 
attended with great danger. As evidence, I found 
that Van der Merwe, of the Middelburg laager, while 
trying to get a view of the Hoofdstad, had been shot 
through the head shortly before our arrival, death 
being instantaneous. I was much affected on hearing 
this, as poor Van der Merwe, before going up the 
mountain, had come to wish me good-bye. He was 
suffering from a very bad cold, and could only speak 
in a whisper. I reminded him of his weak condition, 
and begged him to take as much care of himself as 
the circumstances would allow. He treated the 
matter very lightly, saying he would be allright. I 
wished him Godspeed, and we parted for the last 

I 2 



Whilst General Joubert was standing on a rock 
looking down upon the Hoofdstad to decide upon the 
best spot on which to lay the dynamite, he was fired 
at by the Kafirs, and narrowly escaped being killed, 
the bullet passing close to his head, and striking a 
rock immediately behind him. 

I heard that Malaboch had sent an elephant's tusk 
to the General as a tribute of peace, and asked for an 
hour and a half s time in which to surrender. This 
led to further parley, during which Malaboch ex- 
pressed himself as willing to yield if a guarantee 
were given him that his life would be spared. He 
said he did not want to fight, but was frightened he 
would be killed if he gave himself up. No guarantee 
could be given him, and as, by the end of the time 
granted, he had not come out of his hiding-place, 
hostilities were recommenced. Whilst, however, the 
truce was in force, D. Kraft, of the Pretoria con- 
tingent, was wounded. He was on picket duty on a 
ridge just above the stad, and to the right of the 
Pretoria fort. Wishing to obtain a better view of 
the enemy's stronghold, he exposed himself, and 
instantly received a reminder from below in the 
shape of a bullet, which grazed his neck, inflicting a 
flesh wound. 

Lieutenant Schroeder, with the six men deputed to 
lay the dynamite, had been mining on a spot sup- 
posed to be immediately above the caves, and which 
had been selected on the advice of Colonel Ferreira. 
Directly the interval asked for by Malaboch had 
expired, preparations were made for the explosion of 

i i 





a charge of three hundred and fifty pounds of 
dynamite. The fuse was laid, and then the bugle 
sounded the signal for everybody to leave the fort 
and place themselves out of harm's way. Scarcely 
had the first note been blown than there was a 
general helter-skelter, the main idea of everybody 
being to get as far away as possible. Lieutenant 
Schroeder remained behind a few minutes to fire the 
fuse, three and a half minutes being allowed before 
the explosion ; but several of the Pretoria men 
preferred to remain in the fort, and seek safety under 
overhanging rocks. Colonel Ferreira, with a number 
of others, stood on a crag about two hundred and 
fifty yards away from the spot where this monster 
charge was laid, and prepared to await the effects of 
the explosion. Those three and a half minutes 
seemed very long, but at last a tremendous cloud of 
smoke and dust, accompanied by a report similar to 
that which might be expected if a dozen one hundred- 
ton guns were fired simultaneously, announced that 
the exciting moment had come. Far up into the air 
shot huge fragments of rock, so high, that at last 
they were almost lost to sight, and then they de- 
scended with a whistling sound that was not pleasant 
to hear. Although pieces fell in all directions, none 
of our people were hurt. 

On visiting the scene of the explosion, it was dis- 
covered, that though a considerable portion of the 
krantz had been shifted, and a lot of huts crushed 
under the dibris, the cave itself did not appear to 
•have sustained any actual damage. A fort was then 


built on the spot, and was garrisoned by the Marico 

Desultory firing had been going on all round, the 
Kafirs replying from time to time, with apparently 
no better results than characterised our efforts. This 
was due to the fact that we could not see the enemy, 
hidden as he always was by bush and boulders. 
In the course of the morning two more forts had 
been thrown up on a spur, on the extreme left front, 
some two hundred feet below Fort Pretoria and five 
hundred yards from the Hoofdstad. Some idea of 
the hazardous position in which the occupants were 
placed may be formed from the fact, that a youth 
named Van der Westhuizen was wounded in the 
wrist and chin soon after his arrival there. Thirty 
men under the command of Lieutenant Rice now held 
the forts. The result of the skirmish was, one man 
lolled and five wounded ; the names being : killed, 
Van der Merwe, Middelburg; wounded, Van der 
Westhuizen, Middelburg; D. Kraft, Pretoria, let- 
tering Artillery; Townsend, Marabastad; Coetzee, 

The detachment with Lieutenant Rice spent a most 
wretched night in the fort, owing to their being con- 
tinually harassed by the enemy, who was evidently 
endeavouring to surround our position, an intention 
which was defeated by several well-directed volleys. 
They were standing to arms the greater part of the 
night, and what with the constant throwing of hand- 
bombs from the various small forts, rocket-firing from 
the artillery, and the occasional bursting in their 


vicinity of a misdirected shell, matters were lively, 
and rendered sleep out of the question ; another man 
was shot dead through the neck, close to the spot 
where Van der Merwe was killed. It was intended 
to remove the Pretoria laager from its present site, 
but in consequence of a message being sent down, 
that the war was likely to be over in a few days, 
nothing was done in that direction, although there 
was nothing to warrant hopes of such a speedy 
termination of the campaign ; for whilst we were 
losing at the rate of two or three men a day, the 
enemy, so far as we knew, was escaping " scot-free." 

Dr. Tobias escorted me to the fort occupied by 
Lieutenant Rice and his party ; we reached the fort 
without being fired on, and there I saw Messrs. 
Dutoit, Gert Botha, and Taylor, and stayed with 
them for some time. 

On returning to the Pretoria fort, we found that 
preparations were being made for firing a second 
dynamite charge. The arrangements for safety of 
the firing party, time, fuse, etc., were similar to those 
made for the previous explosion, except that • two 
hundred pounds of dynamite, instead of three hundred 
and fifty, were fired. As tins second charge did not 
have the desired effect, it was decided to try another 
charge of fifty pounds in the hope of tumbling over 
a large piece of the krantz. The usual signal was 
given for everyone to get away as far as possible; 
but the only result was a tremendous report, and a 
small piece of rock shot up into the air, and descended 
with great force close to where I was standing. The 


failure was ascribed to the fact that the rocks were 
composed of sandstone, which, being of a yielding 
nature, did not afford a sufficient amount of resistance 
to the explosive. On this account, it was doubtful 
whether any further experiments would be made with 

Our list of casualties continued to swell ; three 
more Kafirs were wounded. One of the Middelburg 
contingent had a very narrow escape of being shot 
in the shoulder, the bullet passing through his coat. 
Up to this time our loss was about six whites killed, 
twenty-one wounded; fifteen Kafirs killed, thirty 
wounded. An effort had been made to burn down 
the bush, and this had been going on for several 
days. The burning had the effect of driving the 
enemy from his places of concealment ; but it also 
destroyed a most charming feature of the landscape, 
giving a black barren appearance to what had been 
wooded kloof and donga — a fitting emblem of the 
blighting influence of war. During the day, the Rev. 
C. Sonntag informed the General that the previous 
night Malaboch had sent a messenger asking him for 
an interview ; but although permission was given to 
Mr. Sonntag to take in a flag of truce, and see 
whether he could not prevail upon Malaboch to 
surrender before more harm was done, he preferred 
not to run the risk. 

The General left the mountain a few hours after 
my arrival there, but before doing so he addressed 
the burghers, saying that after the way Malaboch 
had behaved, he had decided to take no further 


notice of any flag of truce which might be sent out 
by him ; the only one he would recognise would be 
that carried by Malaboch himself. At the same time 
he recommended the Boers to confine their whole 
attention to the Kafirs, and not to fowls and dogs, 
as each specimen of the feathered tribe that had been 
shot, had cost the Government at least four pounds, 
while the canine corpses would represent as much as 
twenty pounds apiece ; for the future he hoped 
they would desist from such a wreckless waste of 

Continuous firing was being kept up from the fort ; 
this was not responded to by the enemy- 
Feeling tired, I sought rest very early, my bed 
consisting of a thin blanket stretched upon the rocky 
ground. I lay between Mauritz Preller and Austin 
Brook, there being only one blanket, and an overcoat 
(the latter kindly lent me by Sergeant Van der Bijl) 
between the three of us. The two outer men were 
alternately warm, and shivering, as the blanket was 
pulled hither and thither, while the man in the centre • 
(myself) was fairly well off all the time. Though 
dead beat, we had little sleep ; in the middle of the 
night we were all disturbed by the thud of a bullet, 
which fell close to the smouldering embers of the 
fire. I shouted out, " What's that ? " and Austin 
replied, sleepily, "A bullet, I suppose," and went 
fast asleep again. Lieutenant Schroeder and some 
others at once jumped up, the former throwing two 
hand-bombs, one of which he let fall after being 
lighted. In a second he picked it up and threw it 


towards the Hoofstad ; no sooner had it left his hand 
than it exploded with a bang : fortunately no one 
was hurt. 

Before I had retired, curiosity had prompted me to 
peer through a crevice in the rocks, and I was able to 
see right into the enemy's stronghold, which was 
illuminated by a large fire. 

Firing recommenced at daylight, and one of the 
Waterburgers was shot in the abdomen whilst going 
down to fetch water ; he expired before he could be 
taken into the laager. 

I held divine service at nine o'clock, preaching 
upon the subject of death. I was thinking much of 
poor Van der Merwe, and, indeed, of all who had been 
killed in the various actions ; and as I looked at the 
bareheaded assembly before me (about four hundred) 
I was much impressed with the solemnity of the 
occasion. All present were visibly affected, not in 
consequence of the dangers surrounding us, but in 
thinking of the bereaved widows and orphans. The 
most hard-hearted would have found it difficult, 
under the circumstances, not to have been touched 
on hearing the strains of those pathetic lines, " Days 
and moments quickly flying," " When our heads are 
bowed with woe," and " Brief life is here our 
portion," sung by this vast assembly of brave men. 
During the whole of the service a tremendous firing 
was going on from all sides, the artillery sending in 
shells from the Maxims in rapid succession; and I 
must acknowledge feeling a little distressed while 
preaching, expecting every moment to be knocked 


over, for the enemy's ballets whizzed over our heads, 
sometimes in too close proximity to be pleasant, and 
causing us to duck our heads at intervals. At the 
conclusion of the service I was besieged by my 
comrades, who thanked me for the sympathetic words 
I had uttered. This spirit of gratitude for the least 
kindness shown prevailed from the beginning to the 
end of the campaign, and made a rough life (for, 
indeed, it was rough) quite easy to be borne. 

I left the mountain shortly afterwards, being 
escorted by Messrs. Watkins and Brook. On reach- 
ing the plateau already described, whilst we were 
quenching our thirst at one of the streams, we heard 
the report of a gun on the mountain at a distance 
of about three hundred and fifty yards. Later on we 
came to the mealie gardens,where I first experienced 
being under fire, and there I examined the rock on 
which I stood and from which I fell. The place was 
quiet enough now though, as all the Kafirs had fled 
to their Chief for safety. 




Camp-life now became very monotonous, and the 
men talked of nothing but home, and were anxiously 
awaiting the relieving commandoes. Orders were 
again given to shift the camp, and the wagons had 
all been emptied and everything repacked, when the 
order was again countermanded. 

I rode with Neel to the Middelburg laager to see 
the wounded, and on returning enjoyed a rubber of 
whist with Captain White (late B. B. P.) and Messrs. 
Jenkins and Stubbs. 

The next morning we heard a loud report from the 
mountain, and soon after saw a cloud of smoke rise 
up ; this was the result of another charge of dynamite 
being fired. 

In the evening I rode with Corporal Vlok to the 
hospital to visit poor Lottering, who was very bad, 
mortification having set in. He was quite conscious, 
and expressed his gratitude for my call. 

Some of our men had come down from the 
mountain for a few days. In order to relieve the 
monotony, Corporal George Waldeck, who had acci- 
dentally hurt his hand, and was therefore incapacitated 
from duty, asked if there were any in the camp who 


could run, saying that if there were, he would give 
any of them ten yards out of a hundred and 
run away from them easily. The winner was to 
receive ten shillings, the loser paying it. Mauritz 
Preller accepted the challenge, and Lieutenant Rice 
was the starter. The runners toed the line, and 
"Go" was given, and off Mauritz bounded like a 
deer. Waldeck turned, and ran away from him in an 
opposite direction. Hence, Mauritz lost his bet, but 
payment was not insisted on. 

The commandeered prisoners now received twenty- 
four hours' notice to leave the camp, and they at once 
left for Pietersburg in a special wagon which they 
chartered for that purpose. I again received cheering 
letters from Mrs. Bousfield, the Rev. R. J. P. Dunbar, 
Mr. Burnham, Mrs. Sinclair, and other friends. 

Whilst we were idling in the camp, our comrades 
on the mountain were busy enough. Lieutenant 
Schroeder, taking with him thirty Pretorians, under 
orders from Acting-Commandant Uijs, went to assist 
Commandant Vorster's Kafirs in throwing up a fort, 
with the object of cutting off the water supply 
previously referred to. Schroeder applied to each of 
the Veld-Cornets of the Pretoria District to give him 
ten men to strengthen the detachment, but they 
declined. Our men were first marched to Fort 
Henning, and thence they went down with forty 
Kafirs to the place where it was intended to build 
the fort. Small parties of the Zoutpansbergers were 
told off to occupy a ridge on the left of Fort 
Henning, which ran at right angles, thus covering 


the operations of the building party. Before the 
desired spot was reached, it was necessary for our 
men to break their way through very dense bush, 
but after this they came into a large open space, 
where they were at once exposed to any fire which 
might be directed at them from the krantz, which 
was only a couple of hundred yards away. Further 
on a parapet was thrown up so as to afford the men 
a shelter, and behind this they immediately esconced 
themselves. Under cover from our. men and the 
Zoutpansberg people, the friendly Kafirs brought 
stones to build the wall up higher ; but this had not 
been in progress long, the front tier of the fort being 
about half built up, when the Pretorians were startled 
by seeing their native allies rush into their midst. 
This was caused by one of their party being wounded 
in the feet, and one shot dead through the neck. 
Not long after, one of Malaboch's Kafirs, who had 
been taken prisoner the previous day by Vorster's 
men, fell fatally wounded through the back. A 
number of the now panic-stricken Kafirs decamped, 
leaving the Pretorians in the lurch, who, notwith- 
standing this, and regardless that a perfect hail of 
bullets was being poured in upon them, pluckily 
continued, themselves, to complete the fort. In the 
meantime, the Zoutpansberg burghers had retired 
from the ridge by order of Commandant Vorster, on 
account of the hot fire they were subjected to. 
After this there was a lull in the firing, and suspicion 
was aroused that some cunning scheme was on foot to 
which it was intended our men should fall victims. 


At 4.15, Lieutenant Schroeder gave the order to 
retire as speedily as possible to Fort Henning. It 
was remarkable, that during all this time the guns at 
that fort, which were supposed to cover our people, 
were silent ; but the startling discovery was made, on 
the return of the men, that there were only three 
shells left in the fort at the time the order was given 
to fall back. Six men were appointed to act as rear- 
guard, viz., J. Schmidt, W. Keith, Hendrik Smit, 
J. C. Dunsdon, George Scobel, and F. P. Cowley. 
Not many yards had been covered when J. Schmidt 
fell, having been shot by a bullet, which smashed two 
of the bullets in his bandolier, and glanced off, 
making a terrible wound in his loin, from whence 
blood flowed freely. The cry that one of ours was 
down passed along the line, and a loyal response 
was made. Several men who had already reached 
the fort rushed back (unarmed) with a stretcher to 
bring him in. In the meantime, the rearguard were 
making the best of their way back to the fort, which 
was only about one hundred yards distant, when they 
found themselves in the midst of an ambuscade, the 
marksmen being not more than a dozen yards away 
from them. Dunsdon fell, struck on the one side by 
a bullet, and on the other by a charge of buckshot ; 
the handle of an axe which he was carrying was 
smashed to splinters. Immediately after, Cowley 
was shot through the stomach, the ball entering one 
side and coming out the other. The situation of 
Scobel and Keith now became very critical, more 
especially as the former had his rifle jammed with an 


empty cartridge, and Keith's supply of ammunition 
was reduced to two rounds. Hendrik Smit distin- 
guished himself by first returning empty-handed to 
assist his comrades. On grasping the situation, he 
went a few yards back along the path, and, snatching 
a rifle from the hands of another man, was just in 
time to shoot a Kafir, who was covering Scobel and 
Keith. A lot of the Pretorians, upon hearing the 
cries for assistance, rushed down to their aid. Lieu- 
tenant Schroeder and Carl Schmidt succeeded in 
rescuing Dunsdon, while Cowley, better known to 
the troopers as " Kafir Jack," at once rose to his feet, 
and returned unaided to the fort. During the re- 
treat, the enemy, now jubilant, was closing in, 
making the air ring with their yells and war-horns, 
and charging through the undergrowth so as to 
surround the men, pouring in, at the same time, 
volley after volley, on the plucky little band 
struggling to reach the fort They actually came 
to within forty yards of the fort, being all the time 
under protection of the bush, and succeeded in 
shooting another of our men (Loveday) whilst he 
was standing close to the mountain - gun. The 
bullet passed through his thigh, fortunately with- 
out touching the bone. The wounded were dragged 
in safety behind the stone barricades which had been 
thrown up. In response to the enemy's fire, whose 
bullets flattened themselves against the huge boulders 
in the middle of the fort, a brisk fire was opened by 
our people ; this and a charge of grape-shot, fired by 
Lieutenant Wolmarans, had the effect of dislodging 


the enemy from the east flank, who was ultimately 
driven back on all sides. 

The sun had not yet gone down, so, by the aid 
of the heliograph, medical assistance was requested. 
Dr. Liknaitzky lost no time in answering the appeal, 
and arrived about dusk, escorted by six men. He 
attended to the wounded, Mr. Julius Fuchs rendering 
valuable assistance. Poor Schmidt's condition, how- 
ever, had become very precarious, and owing to the 
great loss of blood he succumbed, without having 
spoken. He was born in Baden, Germany, and was 
only nineteen years of age : being held in high esteem, 
he acted as standard-bearer on this occasion. 

Lieutenant Schroeder was of opinion that to return 
that night to Fort Pretoria was out of the question, 
as it was almost certain that the paths would be 
blocked up by the enemy ; also, the wounded could 
not be deserted, and it was possible that Commandant 
Vorster might require aid. Pickets were, therefore, 
placed on all sides within the fort and the walls were 
strengthened. The Pretorians were not very comfort- 
ably situated, as originally they had only been ordered 
out for six hours, and went without rations or blankets. 
Commandant Vorster's men and the artillery did all 
they could with the scanty means at their disposal to 
make things pleasant The night passed in safety, 
though sleep was out of the question. The next 
morning a search party went into the bush to try to 
discover the two rifles which had been lost by Schmidt 
and Dunsdon at the time they were shot ; but they 
could not be found, they had evidently fallen into 



the enemy's hands. During the search, the party 
came across the body of the unfortunate Malaboch 
prisoner, who had been killed, and saw with horror 
that his right arm had been cut off, and the corpse 

I may here mention that it was only on returning 
from the fray that it was known into what a death- 
trap our men had been taken. On the previous 
night a picket was called out to guard a footpath in 
the vicinity of Fort Henning, by which a number of 
Kafirs were endeavouring to escape. They captured, 
among other prisoners, a young girl, who stated that 
a large number of young bloods had been told off to 
guard this particular position, the water obtainable 
there being their last hope. Two parties of our men 
had already been nearly cut off there. She also 
stated that Malaboch's natives were not at all scared 
by the dynamite, nor the hand-bombs; the only 
things which they feared, and could not understand, 
were the rockets. A great number of the natives, 
she said, had died in the stronghold of hunger and 
thirst, but the Chief would not give in, as he was 
afraid to trust himself to the Boers. 

I believe it can be taken as a fact, that had the 
order to retire been delayed ten minutes by Lieu- 
tenant Schroeder, not one of the men engaged would 
have come out alive. They would have been entirely 
surrounded and massacred. After the search party 
had returned to the fort, sixteen men were told off to 
escort the dead and wounded to the laager, while the 
remainder returned to Fort Pretoria. Sough stretchers 


were immediately constructed, the patients placed 
upon them, and the journey to the laager was com- 
menced ; a number of Malitses men acted as bearers. 
Scarcely three hundred yards had been traversed, 
however, when the enemy, who had come from the 
Hoofdstad, crept down into the bush and fired upon 
them. The bearers dropped their burdens and sought 
shelter behind stones, but by dint of kicks and threats 
to shoot them, they were induced again to proceed. 
It was an exciting moment, for the enemy's fire had 
to be returned ; but luckily, Captain Schiel's fort was 
within easy distance, and running the gauntlet of the 
Kafirs' fusilade, they made a dash for it (that is, for 
Captain Schiel's fort), and reached there in safety. 
When Cowley was dropped, he managed to get up 
and hobble along without assistance. 

The Bustenburg laager was at last reached, and 
our men, who had been on duty (some of them) forty- 
eight hours, with little rest or food, were hospitably 
entertained, and a light wagon was procured for the 
wounded. The party safely reached our laager 
shortly after sundown. 

The following are the names of those who were 
engaged in this action : Lieutenant Schroeder, F. 
Cowley, J. Strauss, junr., D. Coetzee, B. Yorke, 
B. Bodes, P. Bothmann, W. Keith, H. Loveday, 
E. "Wadsworth, F. Acton, "VV. Bamsay, J. C. Dunsdon, 
K. Schmidt, Fred. McArthur, C. Goodhouse, George 
Scobel, W. van den Berg, J. van der Berg, J. Schmidt, 
E. Boehlin, Julius Fuchs, A. Horsom, P. van Vuren, 
M. van Vuren, S. van Vuren, S. Schmidt, S. Em- 
it 2 


menes, J. Papenfus, H. Smit, B. Pelzer, M. Booysen, 
and A. van der Westhuizen. 

About noonday, a number of huts in the stad were 
ignited, and the conflagration continued all night. 
Owing to a report that Fort Jonker had been at- 
tacked, a relief party was sent there ; but it ap- 
peared that, during the night, a large fire had been 
noticed about five hundred yards away, and several 
shots were fired at it, with the result that it was put 
out On going to the fort, the spoors of two horses, 
and of a large number of Kafirs, were found at the 
spot, so it was presumed either that reinforcements 
had arrived from elsewhere, or that Malaboch's Kafirs 
were returning to him. Some of our prisoners in- 
formed us that traders living in the vicinity of 
Malaboch, and on the Spelonken, had been supplying 
the Chief with ammunition and rifles ; but this was 
scarcely thought possible. 

t 133 ) 



The Commissariat Department was still a source of 
grumbling. Very little desire was evinced by this 
department to do justice to the Pretoria contingent, 
for whilst clothes had been served out to all the other 
laagers, most of the Pretoria men were still without 
necessaries, and after being sent from pillar to post, 
they were again put off. The General himself had 
seen that some of the men were provided for, but the 
majority had, owing to some ones incapacity or 
indifference, to get on as best they could. 

We were, by this time, pursuing a policy of in- 
activity, although another attempt was made to block 
up the entrance to the cave adjoining the Hoofdstad, 
by means of blowing up the overhanging ledge with 
dynamite. The operation, however, was not more 
successful than the previous ones had been. One of 
the dynamitards, Joe Morris, was slightly hurt by a 
piece of falling rock, being struck on the head, and 
receiving a scalp wound. An attempt was made to 
set the huts on fire, by sending a few explosive 
rockets among them, but the only effect this had was 
to bring a few of the Kafirs out from their hiding- 
place, and a few stray shots were fired at our people 


above, without any harm being done. Then Captain 
Schiel experimented with some shells filled with rags 
soaked in paraffin, and these proved more effective, 
two or three huts being ignited by them. An old 
Kafir woman who had been captured, stated that 
most of the natives had fled to a Chief close by, and 
that only Malaboch and a few of his indunas were 
left in the cave which we were bombarding ; but this 
information was taken " cum grano salis." 

The women and children were escaping nightly, 
but it was thought, from what had already occurred, 
that Malaboch would not give in without a desperate 
struggle. Every night there was a fight at the 
water, and on one of these occasions three women 
were unfortunately shot. They were seen gliding 
amongst the bushes, and were naturally mistaken for 
men. During the last dynamite experiment, it was 
discovered that there was another stream of water 
near the cave which the enemy had been able to use, 
so that, apparently, they had been but little affected 
by our efforts to cut off their main water supply. 

The next morning, on paying my visitation to the 
wounded, I was agreeably surprised to find that a 
number of tents had been enclosed by a scherm. 
Dr. Mader, the chief medical officer, had now 
organised a proper medical staff, and everything 
possible was being done to alleviate the sufferings of 
the sick and wounded. The doctor informed me that 
a large order had been given for a further supply of 
necessaries. At this time there were only three 
patients in the hospital itself. They were Messrs. 


Lottering, Van der Westhuizen, and Townsend, ail of 
the artillery. Lottering had received a terrible 
wound, and his recovery was considered very doubt- 
ful The bullet had entered at the elbow, and passed 
completely up the arm, smashing the bone to splin- 
ters, and finally passing out at the shoulder. For a 
long time the doctor was unable to trace the passage 
of the bullet, having no probe sufficiently long for 
the purpose. He was almost abandoning the search 
as futile, when his able assistant, Mr. Fred Neel, 
suggested using a ramrod, and at last, after almost 
three hours of intense anxiety, success crowned their 
efforts. Tubing was then attached to the top of the 
rod, and carefully drawn through, so that a constant 
current of filtered water was enabled to be kept 
running through the shattered limb. Amputation 
was impossible, so that if Lettering's life was saved 
his arm also would be, and it was gratifying to notice 
the progress he made daily. 

Van der Westhuizen, who also had his arm 
shattered, was getting along well, and thought to be 
out of danger. Townsend, who was shot in the leg, 
was almost well. Our other wounded men were all 
up and doing well, Jonker and the two Bothas being 
almost convalescent. Mr. Idenberg, who was now 
attached to the medical staff, rendered valuable 
assistance to the doctors. 

Much had been said with regard to the hospital 
accommodation, and the want of sufficient medical 
attendance ; but there could now be no possible 
room for cavil, for whilst Dr. Mader, Mr. Neel, 


and staff were located at the hospital, Dr. Liknaitzky 
was on the mountain to render such services as might 
be required before the wounded were sent down to 
the hospital. 

A somewhat exciting adventure befell Corporal 
Vlok, of the Pretoria contingent. In the course of 
the morning of July 6th, he left the laager with two 
others to go to the Pretoria fort. They jogged 
slowly along, intending to go up by the path leading 
past the Rustenburg position ; but a dispute arose, 
and eventually his companions returned to camp, 
leaving Vlok to pursue the rest of the journey alone. 
From this point, I use his own w r ords : — 

" I struck into a footpath which, being well worn, appeared to 
me to be the path taken by our people in going up to the fort. 
I had not proceeded far though when I met one of the friendly 
Kafirs, coming down to fetch water, who told me that I must not 
continue on that path, as the enemy was all around. I did not 
take any notice of this information, and after sitting down to 
have a pipe, went on. 

It was now about four o'clock; the path took me into a 
dense forest, the trees being so tall and overhanging that it was 
impossible to see the sky above. I had travelled a long distance 
through the bush, and was still quite unconcerned, when 
suddenly a bullet came, whistling past me, and flattened itself 
against a rock at my side. 

I could only note the direction from which the shot came, for 
I could see nothing to alarm me, but I stooped and picked up the 
bullet, so as to keep it as a curiosity. I had scarcely done so, 
when two others came over my head, and I then put a cartridge 
in my gun to return the fire ; to my horror it missed fire, and 
each of the remaining four rounds left in my belt did the same. 
I then thought it best to retreat, and scrambled over a rock, 
when another bullet flew past me ; but although I tried each of 
the five rounds three times over, I could not get them to go off, 


my gun having suddenly for some unaccountable reason got out 
of working order. I remained behind that rock for over half-an- 
hour, my only feeling being one of intense loneliness, for I 
expected every moment to be attacked by the Kafirs with their 
assegais ; and although I had made up my mind to defend myself 
to the last with the rifle itself, I could not help ttiinlring that if 
I fell none of my comrades would know what had become of me, 
and still worse, there was the dread of being wounded and left 
alone in the midst of the bush to die of thirst. I had to make a 
move one way or the other, so at last I determined to push 
forward, and ultimately, just as the sun was setting, I emerged 
from the bush ; as I did so, I heard a voice far up on the cliffs 
above me, calling, and I recognised some Boers. They wanted 
me to climb up the mountain to where there was a fort ; but 
although I thanked them very much for their offer to cover me 
in my attempt to scale the cliff, I felt that in my tired state it 
was impossible for me to carry out their advice, and disregarding 
their warning, I preferred to go on. Then I reached the water 
picket, who in turn tried to dissuade me from going further ; but 
finding me bent on reaching the Pretoria fort, they pointed out 
the path, and advised me to run as quickly as possible. I did 
not run, but walked pretty fast, and I cannot tell you how glad 
I was when at nine o'clock I found myself in the midst of our 
' fellows. So glad was I, that I wanted to shake hands with my 
nigger, but the poor beggar wouldn't let me." 




We were now making preparations for the funeral of 
young Schmidt At the burial of poor Nel, the body 
was simply wrapped in cotton blankets and lowered 
into the grave ; it was a painful sight, and we were 
anxious not to have a repetition of it. In the com- 
pany of Lieutenant Holzer, I proceeded to the 
artillery camp to make arrangements; there we 
found Mr. Veyleveldt making a coffin out of some 
packing cases. After searching through the camp, 
I found some sheeting, and this, together with a few 
cotton blankets, served to line the rude encasement. 
The body, which was lying close to my wagon, was 
placed in it, and a procession formed. The first part 
of the service I read under our bucksail ; we then 
walked to the grave, which had been dug next to 
that of Nel. Mr. Schmidt, already referred to as 
having fallen into Nel's grave, and who had now 
quite recovered, was present as chief mourner, he 
being a relative of the deceased. Immediately after 
the service, at a signal from Sergeant Charles Lever, 
three volleys were fired by a firing party, consisting 
of Sergeant Charles Lever (in charge), B. Yorke, 
Acton, Smit, Ramsay, Scobel, and Emmcnes, these 



being present when poor Schmidt was fatally 
wounded. The coffin was covered with the vierk- 
leur, and strewn with maidenhair ferns and wild 
flowers. Great credit was due to Lieutenant Holzer 
for carrying out the funeral arrangements with such 
regard for decency and order. 

Keferring to the incident of the fight I have 
already described, the highest praise is due to Willie 
Keith, for the coolness he displayed when things 
were looking very critical. He was walking between 
Dunsdon and Cowley, when each of his companions 
were shot down, and Schmidt shot just in advance 
of him. He and George Scobel then covered the 
wounded men with their own bodies, until assistance 
came. A word is also due to Ramsay and Bertie 
Yorke, who, at great personal risk, rendered medical 
assistance to the injured, and helped to get them 
into safety. It was incidents of this description 
that proved the pluck and esprit de corps of the 
Pretorians, and they were not forgotten by their 
fellow-townsmen on their return to the capital. 

Much criticism had taken place on the military 
manoeuvres of those who were risking their lives, 
not only for the safety of the country, but also 
for white prestige in South Africa. It mattered 
little what the rights or wrongs of the case were, 
for when once at war with the natives, every white 
man should know that his very existence in South 
Africa depends on victory for his side. Once let 
the natives get the idea that they can beat the 
whites in open war, and chaos will ensue. The 


blacks number about ten times as many as the whites ; 
but, though the latter are numerically so inferior, yet 
it is only natural that they should take the lead. 
Enlightenment and civilisation must rule, and it is 
absolutely necessary for the safety and progress of 
the country that the native races should be subdued 
and compelled to submit to the laws of the land, 
instead of being governed by their own petty auto- 
cratic chiefs, who are a great hindrance to the proper 
development of the country. Therefore, when dis- 
putes have to be settled by the fierce arbitrament of 
war, then especially must the result not hang in the 

But instead of encouraging the men who were 
doing their duty bravely and gratuitously at the 
front, all kinds of charges appeared in the press : as, 
for instance, the use of dynamite was deprecated, 
notwithstanding the great successes our own people 
(British) have achieved with this and similar means 
in their Kafir wars. Yet Englishmen, forgetting 
these facts, would have prevented the General from 
speedily terminating the war by the use of dynamite. 
How anyone can discriminate between the use of 
dynamite and hand grenades or explosive shells, 
passes my comprehension. Then the chivalry of 
General Joubert, unparalleled in South African war- 
fare, in offering the native women and children an 
opportunity to escape, met with no comment what- 
ever. After what had been said and written with 
regard to the General's conduct, it would have been 
only just to have recognised such a merciful act, and, 


indeed it should have been recognised by all humane 
men ; but far from meeting with notice, it was slurred 
over, and columns of leaded type set forth the fact, 
that while the flag of truce was flying the Boers 
prevented the enemy from taking advantage of the 
flag, raised to enable him to send out his women and 
children to drink. 

But again no notice was taken of the enemy, under 
cover of this flag, treacherously striving to better his 
position, by shifting his men and grazing his goats. 

Again, a few days previous, whilst another flag of 
truce was flying, we found the enemy sending water 
carriers to get in a supply of water, so as to enable 
him to hold out ; but the Boers stayed their hands, 
with the result that a score or more of brave men 
were lying either dead or wounded. 

The presence of Mrs. Joubert, too, at the front was 
heroic, and also an unusual feature in South African 
warfare ; whilst the list of dead and wounded told 
its own tale ; the majority of whom were those of 
our Dutch countrymen, men who, like others, have 
their faults, but who have also a record for personal 
bravery equal to that of any modern nation. It is 
the fashion to decry the Boer, but those who had 
personal experience of the events of 1881, know the 
men, who dared the might of Great Britain, and who 
are by no means as bad as represented. We are not 
imbued with a favourable opinion of the Boer ; as a 
legislator we know he is full of faults, and we lose no 
opportunity in pointing them out; it is therefore 
only fair to show up their good qualities in the most 


favourable light, when we can do so honestly and 
truthfully, more especially as they must some day be 
our fellow-citizens. 

A krijsraad was held at Vorsters kopje, and 
amongst other things discussed was the advisability 
of burning the bush down with the aid of paraffin, a 
suggestion made by Commandant Malan. 

The sequel to the big fire which was seen on Fort 
Jonker kopje and the discovery of the spoor of a large 
number of natives, was that they were some of 
Kiviet's Kafirs, as they were known to have had 
two horses with them. 

The General ordered the Marico contingent to 
complete the fort commenced by the Pretorians, 
but they distinctly refused to do so, saying that 
they had already built one fort and lost men in 
doing so, and had manned another, and did not 
see why they should be called upon to do work 
which appeared to be essentially the duty of 
Vorster's commando. 

Their excuse was apparently deemed sufficient, for 
the General made no attempt to enforce his order. 

This circumstance, amounting to mutiny, placed 
the General in an awkward position. It proved the 
truth of the proverb of bringing a horse to the 
water, but the impossibility of making him drink. 
The Marico men played the part of the horse, the 
water is well exemplified by the fort to be built, 
overlooking a running stream. But even the 
General's own orders would not make the horse 
drink, nor prevent his kicking. 


It seems almost incredible that the orders of a 
General to his men on active service could be flouted 
with impunity 1 The title of " General " on such an 
expedition was simply an anomaly. Had Volunteers 
been called out instead of the " loyal " burgher 
being forced into action, and had the Hoofdstad 
been stormed sooner instead of so much time* 
wasted in scheming and dilly-dallying, fewer lives 
would probably have been lost, and the war brought 
to a speedier termination. 

The position of the General was, to say the least of 
it, most trying, and, taking all things into considera- 
tion, he could not have acted better than he did ; he 
displayed great tact and patience combined with 
mercy, and his actions are deserving of the highest 

Yesterday, whilst a friendly native was going up 
the mountain from the Middelburg laager with 
provisions, he received a wound in the arm which 
necessitated amputation. After the operation had 
been performed, it was found that the missile was a 
stone, about the size of a man's thumb, which 
shattered the bone and splintered itself. He was 
less than one thousand yards from the laager when 
he was shot. This proved the presence of the enemy 
in that part of the mountain. 

A grave scandal arose owing to the inadequate 
arrangements made for the herding and protection of 
the captured cattle, of which a large number was 
missing; by whom they had been removed was a 
matter of doubt, but it was a fact that of the total 


number taken, scarcely a thousand remained. Two 
" boys " were seen driving a small troop off in the 
direction of Pietersburg, and mounted men went in 
pursuit. A native, who represented himself as one 
of Malitse's men, was captured in close proximity to 
the camp, and from the unsatisfactory nature of his 
replies, as well as that a quantity of stone bullets 
were found upon him, he was suspected of being a 
spy, and taken to the General to be dealt with. 

( "5 ) 



On Monday, the 16th July, Colonel Ferreira left 
for Pietersburg en route to Pretoria. Lieutenant 
Rice was appointed Acting Veld-Cornet during 
his absence; Lieutenant Holzer being in charge of 
the laager. 

In coining down the mountain the Colonel and his 
party were fired on from about twenty different 

Although I did not wish to be a pessimist or an 
alarmist, I could not help viewing the conduct of the 
campaign with serious misgiving. 

Had a determined attempt been made when we 
first advanced towards the Hoofdstad to storm the 
caves with our full strength, I believe that the 
enemy, being then apparently in a state of fear, 
would have been easily overcome, and the war 
brought to an end at once ; but the delay had 
given the enemy an amount of confidence which he 
never possessed before, and instead of retreating as 
heretofore, he had assumed the offensive with con- 
siderable success. 

Fort Pretoria was situated two thousand seven 
hundred feet above the laager, and was distant some 



seven and a half miles ; yet for the whole distance 
there was no protection for those bringing up supplies, 
beyond twenty-five men at Fort Jonker, which was 
fifteen hundred yards from the path, and about thirty 
friendly Kafirs at a point some two miles further 
on. Moreover, the only means at first of obtaining 
supplies on the top of the mountain was by Kafir 
bearers, as the mountain was too steep for the wagons 
to go further than the base. 

Two men of the Pretoria contingent, Messrs. 
Watkins and Claridge, were afterwards told off by 
Colonel Ferreira to supervise the transport; using 
pack-horses for the purpose, they ascended the 
mountain every day between 3 and 4 a.m., returning 
at about 2 p.m. 

With regard to the laager itself, it was thought 
owing to its size, nature and position, that at least 
five hundred men would be required to effectually 
defend it ; and as most of our men were always on 
the mountain, matters would have been very serious 
had Malaboch taken it into his head to create a 
diversion by paying it a visit. This was thought 
to be highly improbable ; but, nevertheless, many a 
sleepless night I spent in thinking of the possibility 
of such an event 

D. Prinsloo, of the Zoutpansberg commando, w T as 
shot when coming down the mountain. His son 
had only that day arrived to act as his substitute, 
and Prinsloo, having bade good-bye to his friends, 
was proceeding towards Mapen's when four shots 
from each side of the path were fired at him ; only 


one struck him, this passing through his groin, but 
did not stop his progress. At a further point he was 
fired at again, but was not hit The Kafirs, how- 
ever, followed the blood stains, thinking that as he 
was wounded he would soon falL Luckily some 
Zoutpansbergers, who happened to be going up to 
the fort ; met him, but although they saw the Kafirs 
they did not fire on them, believing they were some 
of our native allies. 

This fatal confusion of friendlies and enemies was 
indirectly the cause of our loss during the last en- 
gagement, as when our people in Fort Pretoria saw 
Kafirs coming up in the rear of the detachment they 
did not fire, thinking they were some of Commandant 
Vorster's " boys." It was a great pity that steps had 
not been taken to give our allies some distinctive 
dress, by which they might have been at once 

They had had provided for them red and white 
ribands to put round their heads ; but, as can be 
easily understood, this was not sufficient, as Mala- 
boch's natives could have easily worn such a badge. 
This oversight was, however, only on a par with 
many others which had characterised the progress of 
the expedition ever since it was promulgated — I 
cannot say organised — there had been little enough 
of organisation all through the proceedings. 

Heavy firing was heard in the direction of the 
Middelburg fort, and I learned afterwards that 
while three men were going through the bush, the 
Kafirs attacked them, and one, named Fiet Goosen, 

l 2 


was shot through the shoulder. The men in the fort 
fired several volleys and the enemy retreated. 

News reached us that our native allies managed to 
surprise a number of the enemy sitting outside a 
cave ; they killed ten of them before they could take 
refuge. When they had taken cover the enemy 
replied to the fire, killing one native ally and 
wounding two others. 

On Thursday, the 19th July, Dr. Laxton arrived in 
camp, and was attached to the Medical Corps, help 
being much needed in that department. I visited 
poor Lottering to-day and found him in a dying 
state ; the doctor, as a last resource, had amputated 
the arm, so as to do everything possible in order to 
save his life, but it was a hopeless case from the 
beginning : mortification had set in long before the 
operation was performed. The poor fellow was 
unable to speak, although quite conscious ; by signs 
he asked for water, and by the same means made me 
understand that he knew he was dying. He expired 
soon after I left, and was buried in the artillery camp 
the same day by the Rev. Mr. Burgers, a minister of 
the Dutch Reformed Church, who was up on a visit 
from Middelburg. Three volleys were fired over the 
grave at the conclusion of the service. 

In pursuance of our endeavour to effectually cut off 
the enemy's water supply, it was found necessary to 
construct another small fort immediately opposite 
the Hoofdstad, at a spot not more than two hundred 
and fifty yards therefrom. 

This was satisfactorily accomplished, and a party 


of the Middelburgers was told off to hold the position. 
During the construction of the fort the enemy kept 
up a smart fire, and a man named Leclercq received 
a bullet which completely smashed his left thigh, 
shattering the bone, and necessitating amputation ; 
two others sustaining slight wounds. Information of 
these casualties was received through the heliograph, 
and Mr. F. Neel ascended the mountain at 5 p.m. 
for the purpose of bringing Leclercq down; he 
returned with his charge at 11 p.m., and placed him 
in hospital 

A stalwart Kafir was shot by our men a few days 
*> ; whe* picked up he » found to be armed Jh 
a Snider rifle, but he wore a bandolier containing one 
hundred Martini cartridges. These had been clinked 
in a peculiar manner so as to fit the rifle; a fact 
which spoke volumes for the ingenuity of the enemy. 
He was dressed in European clothes, and was believed 
to be one of Malaboch's chief indunas. 

The natives in the caves displayed a white flag, but 
it was immediately shot down. The General now 
rescinded his previous order of not regarding a flag of 
truce, and for the future it was to be respected. A 
few days after this incident the enemy began sounding 
their horns, and shortly afterwards one of them made 
his appearance at the mouth of the cave with a flag 
of truce ; scarcely, however, had he done so, than it 
was simply riddled with bullets. On the same day 
two of the enemy were shot, one being killed and the 
other wounded. Not long afterwards another flag 
was displayed at the entrance to the enemy's strong- 


hold, but warned by previous experience, they did 
not themselves show up. This, however, did not 
save the flag, which was promptly shot away. 

Incidents such as the foregoing were the more 
regrettable from the fact that very strict orders had 
been given by the General, who now expressed his 
intention of making it his especial business to severely 
punish any man guilty of such flagrant violation of 

The whole of the Pretoria contingent was now 
ordered up the mountain, as the storming of the 
caves was anticipated the following day. Captain 
Shiel's Knobneusen had arrived, and were also to 
take part in the attack. A sortie was made from the 
Middelburg fort, a number of Kafirs being observed 
in the bush ; a skirmish ensued, with the result that 
ten of the enemy were killed and one of our friendlies 

Henry Leclercq, whom I visited while Lottering 
was lying dead in his tent, asked me how he 
(Lottering) was. I replied that he was no better. 
He begged of me to visit him again soon ; the 
amputation of the leg was to take place the following 
day. The operation was most cleverly performed by 
Dr. Mader in the presence of Drs. Laxton and 
Liknaitzky, Messrs. Neel, Lever and Brook rendering 
assistance. The patient was exceedingly weak and 
caused the doctor much anxiety. The amputation 
had been delayed in order to allow Dr. Hohls, 
of Pietersburg, to be present All this time (some 
days) Dr. Mader was kept in the greatest suspense 


and anxiety, as the patient's friends would not con- 
sent to the amputation before Dr. Hohls had been 

After the doctor's decision to amputate had been 
made known, the Rev. Mr. Burgers asked if the limb 
could not really be saved. The doctor replied that 
he could only save the leg at the cost of the 
patient's life, and that, even after amputation, 
he could hold out little or no hopes of saving his 
life, owing to the unfortunate delay. As I have 
mentioned in a previous chapter, the doctor's 
opinions were never regarded nor his advice accepted 
among the Boers; and amputation was almost in 
every case postponed until it was too late to do 
any good. 

It was the general verdict among the doctors and 
others who rendered assistance at the various opera* 
tions, that the chief medical officer was a gentleman 
of undoubted ability in his profession, an exceptionally 
clever surgeon, and one who always performed his 
work in an expeditious and skilful manner. 

The next morning, on my way to visit the 
wounded, I saw about two thousand friendly Kafirs, 
sent by the Chief Malitse for the purpose of skirmish- 
ing and clearing the mountain of the enemy. They 
were distinguished from Mathala's Kafirs by a white 
band on their heads. 

I found poor Leclercq delirious, and was pained 
when I observed the anxiety on the face of the tender- 
hearted doctor, who was most kind and sympathetic, 
and naturally much interested in his case. As he 


said himself, " I would do anything that would help 
towards saving the life of my patient." He was 
present with me during my brief stay, and that was 
the last time I saw Leclercq, for he died that evening. 
On leaving Leclercq's tent, the doctor informed me 
that it would be necessary to amputate Van der 
Westhuizen's arm, as the bones were completely 
smashed. The bullet had entered the arm below the 
elbow, passing through the bone above the joint. 
The next morning I witnessed the operation performed 
by Dr. Mader, who was assisted by Drs. Lax ton, Lik- 
naitzky, and Mr. Fred Neel, Dr. Laxton administering 
the chloroform. The patient lost very little blood, 
the whole thing only occupying thirty-five minutes. 
In the evening I heard of the critical condition of 
Leclercq, and while on my way with Dr. Liknaitzky 
to visit him, he expired. He was buried next day 
with military honours, the Commandant-General 
being present at the funeral. 

The Kafirs now turned the tables by taking to the 
offensive, and the Pretorians were the recipients of 
the attack; they (the Pretorians) occupied a fort 
situated on a ledge about three hundred yards lower 
than Fort Pretoria, and immediately overlooking the 
scene of the last engagement. Owing to the bitterly 
cold weather, most of the men had selected sheltered 
nooks among the boulders within a short distance 
of the fort and inside the line of pickets. The fact 
that the Kafirs had kept decidedly in the background 
during the last few days caused the men to get a little 
careless, and instead of extinguishing all fires at sun- 


down and retiring to shelter, they gathered in social 
groups round the cheery camp-fires until long after 
that time. At about half-past seven, after Lieutenant 
Schroeder and Sergeant Jan Lourens had just finished 
their rounds, and everything appeared quiet and safe, 
the men were suddenly roused by two startling volleys 
of bullets being poured in upon them. Under cover 
of darkness and the uneven scrubby boulders, a 
body of the enemy had advanced in crescent shape 
from behind, to within twenty or thirty yards of the 
pickets, and then commenced firing upon the groups 
gathered round the fires. Bullets fell thickly all 
round, and could be distinctly heard as they struck 
the boulders ; fortunately only two men were injured. 
One was Barend Nel, who was standing with his 
hands in his overcoat pockets. A bullet passed 
through his right hand, damaging it very severely, 
while his overcoat was perforated in two other places, 
luckily without doing him further injury. The 
other victim, Marthynus van Vuren, who formed 
one of a group nearest the line of pickets, was shot 
through the right thigh, the bullet passing between 
the large vein and the bone. An order had been 
given, that in the event of surprise, the men were to 
retire within the precincts of the fort before returning 
the enemy's fire. As soon, therefore, as the volleys 
were heard, a rush was made for the fort ; the men 
stumbled over the uneven ground in the hurried 
scamper, but the fort was reached in safety with no 
further casualties. The walls were immediately 
manned, and strengthened with logs of wood that 


were lying inside, and then a regular fusilade of 
bullets was poured upon the position presumed to be 
occupied by the Kafirs, while hand-grenades were 
thrown into the crevices and fissures' which sur- 
rounded the fort Our fire was not returned, but 
meanwhile the position was a precarious one ; and 
until the moon rose, about 9.30, our men had 
an anxious time. Then a sortie was made to bring 
in the blankets and anything else that might have 
been left outside, and also to ascertain if the enemy 
was in the neighbourhood ; without interference the 
Pretorians succeeded in bringing in everything. Some 
anxiety was caused on the calling of the roll, by the 
absence of five men ; but on a reconnoitring party 
going in search of them, it was found they were lying 
low in a deep recess from which they were brought 
to the fort unscathed. The remainder of the night 
was passed in quietude, every attention being given 
to the wounded; and Messrs. W. R Ramsay and 
F. B. Tobias (LL.D.), who were possessed of some 
surgical knowledge, should be especially mentioned 
in this connection. It was indeed a matter of 
extreme regret that there were no medical officers 
nearer than the laager, several miles away ; and even 
what little there was in the way of bandages and 
lint had been removed the day before, so that Nel's 
and Van Vuren's wounds had to be bound up with 
torn handkerchiefs obtained from their comrades. 
In the morning a picket was sent out to patrol the 
vicinity of the fort ; the place was found to be 
perfectly clear, but the enemy had approached to 


within thirty yards of the fort Empty cartridge 
cases, different to those served out to our forces, 
were picked up, many of them being Ely's. Under 
escort, the wounded were conveyed to the hospital 
in safety. It was found, on examination by Dr. 
Liknaitzky, that Nel's second finger was smashed just 
below the knuckle joint, and that it would have to 
be taken off. Immediately on the news of the attack 
becoming known in the Pretoria laager fifty men were 
ordered to proceed to the assistance of their comrades 
in the fort ; and although the majority of them had 
only come down from the mountain a day or two 
before, after a long spell, they obeyed the order, 
much to their credit, without a murmur, seemingly 
pleased at the idea of being in the thick of it again. 




Several Boers from the Waterberg laager sallied out 
to set fire to some of the huts in the Hoof ds tad. 
They had succeeded in their object, and were about 
to retire, when one of their number, L. Groenewald 
by name, saw a beehive on a rock above him, and 
stated his determination to take it back with him, 
despite the warnings of his companions. In order to 
effect his purpose, he laid his gun down, and raised 
himself on to the ledge. Scarcely had he done this, 
when he was shot through the heart, and fell back 
into the flames of the burning huts. To rescue him 
at once was an impossibility, as the cartridges in his 
bandolier began exploding one after the other ; but as 
soon as they were able to approach the spot, Clark, a 
young Englishman, and some others, dashed in to get 
the body out, under cover of a heavy fire from the 
forts. On reaching the spot where he had fallen, a 
gruesome sight met their gaze, for in place of Groene- 
wald, there were only his charred remains. Great 
regret was expressed in the Pretoria laager at his sad 
fate, as he had been particularly kind to our wounded 
while they were being brought down the mountain 
on the occasion of the fight at the water. 


Two hundred and fifty Kafirs, under command of 
G. W. Burnett and five others of the Pretoria con- 
tingent, left the camp on the morning of the 
24th July, taking the south face of the mountain, 
and reached Fort Pretoria without check. On their 
way they passed two large caves, which, though 
deserted, bore traces of recent occupation. They also 
saw the corpse of an old man who had evidently died 
of starvation. The next morning, at daybreak, they 
commenced to scour the dense bush, which extended 
from immediately below Fort Ferreira to the opposite 
range, at the rear of the artillery fort, the party 
being augmented by two artillerymen, bringing the 
total number of Europeans up to eight Their names 
were, G. W. Burnett, N. Vlok, W. J. Hornebrook, 
J, Nell, J. Conroy, D. Coetzee, and Corporals W. 
Davitt and Versity. They advanced in skirmishing 
order, and when they reached the spot where the 
Pretorians were attacked, they were fired upon from 
the Hoofdstad, and Burnett fell wounded in the 
right shoulder. Almost at the same time, one of the 
friendly Kafirs was shot, whereupon the whole native 
contingent, with the exception of about a dozen, 
bolted off, leaving the whites to shift for themselves. 
J. Nell ran back, with the idea of rallying his natives, 
whilst the rest of the party assisted Burnett and the 
wounded Kafir to the artillery fort Nell was 
missing for a long time, and grave fears were enter- 
tained for his safety, but he eventually returned to 
camp. A message was at once heliographed to Fort 
Pretoria for medical assistance, and Dr. Laxton, 


escorted by Lieutenant Schroeder and seventeen 
men, was speedily in attendance. The escort party, 
together with some fifty or sixty friendly Kafirs, who 
had been rallied, then received orders to build a fort, 
some two hundred and fifty yards from the Hoofd- 
stad. This they successfully accomplished, and, in 
addition, erected two smaller forts, which formed a 
chain to the foot of the krantz, and thus effectually 
cut off the enemy's water supply. During the 
erection of these forts our men came across the dead 
bodies of two of the enemy, no doubt shot in the 
previous engagement. At the moment Burnett fell, 
some twenty or more of the enemy fled out of the 
bush in the direction of the cave, and in crossing the 
open, ten of them were shot, and a shell from the 
mountain-gun dispersed the remainder. It was 
beyond doubt that the enemy had quite recently 
received supplies of first-class rifles and ammunition. 

Incredible as it seemed, many of them were well 
armed with Express rifles, and that they knew how 
to use them was painfully evident, whilst the quality 
of their ammunition was sufficiently vouched for by 
their empty cartridge-cases, which bore the well- 
known name of Ely Brothers. 

Whereas, in our first advance, the muzzle-loader 
was very much in evidence, and the dull boom of the 
elephant gun easily recognisable, it was a noticeable 
fact that, in later encounters, the sharp ping of the 
Express was the only sound distinguishable. 

Dr. Mader, the Government medical officer, handed 
in his resignation on the 26th July, owing to un- 


warrantable interference with him in his professional 
capacity. Without giving him the slightest notice, 
one of his patients, Goosen by name, was removed 
from hospital, and afterwards attended to by Mes- 
dames Joubert and Vorster. 

Mr. Fred Neel, whilst returning to camp, after 
visiting one of the other laagers, met with a nasty 
accident which might easily have been attended with 
fatal consequences. His horse suddenly became 
restive, the saddle-girths snapped, and he was thrown 
heavily to the ground, severely spraining his wrist 
and arm, and sustaining slight concussion of the brain. 

Arrangements were being made for the storming of 
the Hoofdstad, but it was thought that, even if 
successful in this endeavour, it would not mean the 
termination of the campaign, as the general im- 
pression was that Malaboch and his warriors had fled 
from the cave. On the other hand, we were con- 
vinced that the Chief would make a desperate stand 
on the back mountain, and that a determined attack 
would yet remain to be made in that direction. The 
possibility of the slaughter of one hundred natives in 
the caves adjoining the stad would not mean the 
slaughter of Malaboch. There had been too much 
dilly-dallying. The General, although a capable 
commander, owing to his thorough knowledge of the 
Kafir character and their war tactics, was, in my 
opinion, too much of a dilettante; for had a bold 
attack been made when we first arrived, matters 
would have been brought to an issue long ago, and 
without much loss of life. 




On Friday, July 29th, a court-martial was held for 
the trial of a prisoner named George Nefdt At 
10 o'clock punctually, members of the court took 
their seats ; Commandant Vorster presided, and the 
other members were Commandants Grobler and Botha, 
Veld-Cornets Botha, Louw, Burgers, Kleinenburg, and 
Van Dyk. 

Dr. Tobias opened by stating the case for the pro- 
secution, and the indictment of the prisoner was as 
follows : — 

" Before the Krijsraad in session in small or ordinary court- 
martial on Malaboch's Commando, on the matter of the Krijsraad 
before mentioned w. George Nefdt. 

" Dr. Frederic Balthazer Tobias, who prosecutes on behalf of 
the Krijsraad, hereby notifies that in consequence of information 
which was furnished him by Colonel Ignatius Ferreira, and as 
such serving on the Malaboch Commando, a certain white 
person, named George Nefdt, of Pretoria, serving as a substitute 
for a properly commandeered person, and at present a prisoner in 
the artillery camp at Blaauwberg, is guilty of drunkenness and 
insubordination, which is a punishable offence according to 
Article 27 of Act No. 2 of 1883 : 

" He, the said George Nefdt, having on or about the 8th July, 
1894, in the camp Laager No. 2 at Blaauwberg, of the Pretoria 
District Burghers, under Commandant D. J. £. Erasmus ; and, 


furthermore, consecutively on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th July, 
1894, in the Fort Pretoria near the Hoofdstad of Malaboch, 
while in a state of intoxication, and in the presence of several 
Veld-Cornets and Commandants, did utter, in a loud tone of 
voice, all kinds of insulting expressions and rebellious remarks, 
especially vilifying his acting serving Veld-Cornet, the said 
Colonel Ferreira, who was present in the said fort, such as the 
following : That Colonel Ferreira is drunk daily and lies amongst 
the boulders with a bottle of whisky ; that Colonel Ferreira had 
sent away numbers of goats and oxen with a letter whereon there 
was no address ; that Colonel Ferreira with the English and the 
Hollanders consumed the provisions which had been sent up from 
Pretoria for the use of everybody, amongst which were milk, 
whisky, gin, corned beef, jam, and other articles, which had 
disappeared without a trace ; and that in a loud tone of voice 
Nefdt had accused Colonel Ferreira of having stolen these 
articles and robbed the Burghers of the Commando ; or to have 
used words to that effect, or of a similar tendency, and that he, 
the said Nefdt, had also challenged Colonel Ferreira to fight 
with him, for which reasons Dr. F. B. Tobias, before mentioned, 
submits that the said George Nefdt, after having been examined 
and found guilty, shall be dealt with according to the law ! 
Dr. F. B. Tobias for the prosecution, Artillery Camp at Blaauw- 
berg, 16th July, 1894." 

At the termination of the reading of the charge 
Captain Schiel, who was defending the prisoner, 
requested permission to question the constitution 
of the court, pointing out that, according to the 
laws governing all courts-martial in the world, the 
prisoner had a right to object to any member of the 
court, exactly as in a civil court an objection to a 
juryman is allowed. The learned advocate for the 
prosecution, however, pointed out that the court was 
not a court-martial in the strict military sense of the 
word, but rather a court standing alone, being the 
outcome of a military system peculiar to this country, 



and that the court was not a jury, but a court having 
the rights of the judges in a civil court. The Pre- 
sident inquired who it was to whom the prisoner 
objected, and why ? 

Veld-Cornet Botha was named by Captain Schiel, 
on account of his already having expressed his in- 
tention of giving the prisoner three years' hard 
labour and twenty-five lashes. Veld-Cornet Botha 
rose excitedly, and gave the lie direct to Captain 
Schiel, amidst the expressed disapproval of his 
colleagues. Captain Schiel did not attempt to 
press the truth of the reason given, but claimed 
his right to object to the Veld-Cornet without 
giving any reason. In spite of the admitted prac- 
tice of the world, the court refused Captain Schiel's 

Nothing daunted at losing his first point, the 
Captain opened fire a second time, and inquired 
whether Colonel Ferreira had been subpoenaed and 
would appear. On being answered in the negative, 
he stated that his defence mainly rested on cross- 
examination of the complainant ; he appeared at the 
court to give the prisoner every opportunity. " Where 
was the Colonel ? Why did he go to Pietpotgieters 
Rust ? " The learned advocate on his side did not 
see any need for the presence of Colonel Ferreira ; 
the charge was drunkenness and insubordination, and 
the complainant was the Government, and no par- 
ticular man. The court was of opinion that the case 
should be adjourned until the return of the absent 
Colonel. Captain Schiel immediately rose and 


objected — the prisoner had already been some time 
under arrest, and to postpone the case further would 
be against the law. The President wished to inquire 
of the learned advocate as to the law on the point. 
Dr. Tobias stated that the presence of the Colonel 
was not necessary, but that, if the court held that 
Ferreira's presence was necessary, it would be against 
the law to postpone the case further. The court 
being convinced by the Captain, dismissed the case, 
thus practically giving a verdict for the prisoner. 
The decision was received with applause. Outside, 
three cheers were raised by some of the Pretoria 
people for Captain Schiel, and he was carried on the 
shoulders of the crowd. 

Without doubt, Schiel's speech carried not only the 
court but the public with it, and he was to be con- 
gratulated for his spirited defence of an unfortunate 
Uitlander, whose worst crime was, not looking upon 
the wine when it was red, but partaking, not wisely, 
though too freely, of the whisky. 

M 2 




July 27. — This morning, the enemy created a 
further diversion by attacking the artillery fort. 
The first indication of their presence was received a 
little after seven o'clock in the shape of a wither- 
ing fire from the surrounding bush, at a distance of 
about three hundred yards. Until this moment, the 
friendly Kafirs, who were occupying the fort, had 
believed themselves to be in perfect safety ; but no 
sooner had the ping, ping, and plash of the bullets 
against the stone walls afforded them an unpleasant 
surprise, than a panic, seemed to have set in amongst 
them, and they left the fort to take care of itself. 
There was a regular rush to seek shelter in the bush, 
only twelve men, in addition to the artillerymen, 
retaining their presence of mind. They had the 
greatest possible difficulty in dragging the gun 
round, so as to train it on to the enemy's position, 
and were subjected the whole time to a steady fire, 
which, although well directed, fortunately failed in 
effect Several shells were placed in the bush where 
it was thought the bulk of the enemy was, and they 
had the effect of forcing the Kafirs to retire. 


After two hours of warm firing, in which no one 
was hurt on our side, the enemy went further 
back, but still continued to keep up desultory fire, 
which considerably hampered the movements of those 
in the fort, as our men were watching an opportunity 
to return to the camp. 

I have mentioned that the fire was desultory, but 
there was a peculiarity about the accuracy of the 
firing, observed by a few who had to go from fort 
to fort, also about the class of ammunition used, and 
inferentially, the kind of arms; for those used on 
this occasion by Malaboch's people were undoubtedly 
muzzle-loaders, whereas it was practically certain that 
all the Kafirs left in the Hoofdstad were armed with 
Sniders, Martinis, and Empress rifles. Reinforce- 
ments must have evidently arrived for Malaboch, 
but from which direction they came in it was difficult 

to ^ ■« TCt * . *» -*, **, 

whilst firing his revolver. He was coming down the 
mountain with Dr. Laxton, and emptied bis weapon 
in the direction of a cave, when by some mischance 
he received a wound in the forehead, which, however, 
was not serious. 

Two pumping engines arrived to-day for the 
purpose of spraying the bush with paraffin. 

Mr. Meyer, the Chief Commissariat Officer, spared 
no pains in creating a very bitter feeling between 
the Uitlanders and the Boers; and it was perhaps 
only the respect which the Pretoriana had' for their 
own officers and the General that prevented a very 


serious outbreak. I have already mentioned the fact 
that whilst other laagers had been supplied with 
clothing and other necessaries, the Pretoria men had 
been sent from pillar to post, and whilst about half of 
them had received a partial supply, the others had 
still to remain without shoes and other equipment. 

Dr. Laxton, on first seeing the men on the mountain, 
dubbed them " The Eagged Brigade." 

It was acknowledged on all sides they had done 
the lion's share of the work ; had taken risks which 
no other contingent would incur ; had been drafted 
out for the use of other laagers, and although num- 
bering only one hundred and seventy-five all told, 
they had experienced more casualties than any other 
contingent. The whole of the hospital staff had been 
selected from the Pretoria detachment ; yet in the 
face of all this the commissariat officer had the 
audacity to tell Lieutenant Holzer (in my hearing), 
on his presenting a requisition, signed by the Acting 
Commandant-General, for the men's clothing, that he 
was not going to give them, and that the Pretorians 

" were a lot of d scoundrels, trying to defraud 

the Government." 

In addition to this, he refused to issue anything 
to the wounded men unless they paraded before him. 
And the result was, that Van de Westhuizen, who had 
only had his arm amputated a few days previously, 
had to walk about six hundred yards, clad only in a 
blanket ; Dunsdon, with a borrowed overcoat but no 
trousers ; Loveday, in borrowed clothing ; and Cowley, 
in his own blood-bespattered garments. Mr. Austin 


Brook, who had voluntarily joined himself to the 
hospital staff, and was devoting his whole time and 
energy to the care of the wounded (not by any means 
an easy or pleasant task), tried his utmost to prevent 
the wounded men taking this journey ; but his re- 
peated applications to Mr. Meyer were of no avail, 
although he produced a requisition properly signed. 
The answer given was, that if the wounded men were 
too ill to get up and walk, then clothes would be of 
no use to them. So all had to undertake this journey, 
although weak to a degree from the effects of their 
wounds. Others were commonly informed that they 
would have nothing, as they did not appear in person. 
Referring to the wounded Kafirs, he wanted to know 
what good clothes and blankets were to them. It 
was a great pity that such conduct passed unrebuked. 
Of this I am certain, that these things were not 
done with the knowledge of the General or the 
Government, who would have rectified them at 
once had they known the true state of affairs. 




The war now underwent a fresh phase — over a 
hundred women and children came out from various 
caves close to the Hoofdstad and gave themselves 
up. They were suffering terribly from the pangs of 
thirst, and it was truly a pitiful sight to see the 
unfortunate youngsters crawling along the ground to 
get hold of anything that looked like a calabash 
containing water, so as to relieve their parched mouths. 
Young and old had to be dragged forcibly away from 
the water, otherwise they would have drunk them- 
selves to death. At 5 o'clock in the evening the 
General issued an order that twenty men from the 
Pretoria contingent, and a similar number of Boers, 
were to go with the friendly natives, numbering over 
five hundred, and surround the big cave, so as to 
prevent the enemy coming out to fetch water. The 
movement was entirely successful. Our people 
approaching to within seventy yards of the caves, 
and standing about three yards from one another, 
effectually hemmed Malaboch's people in, whilst every 
man in each of the six forts which now guarded the 
water and the flats stood to arms to render assistance 






5 !»•«• 





if necessary. At 9.30 a number of the enemy sallied 
out with the idea of obtaining water, and knowing 
the position our men had taken up, fired several shots 
in that direction. This was accepted as a signal for 
a return fire of gigantic dimensions, and the reader 
can imagine what it was like when I mention that 
nearly six hundred rifles were fired simultaneously, 
and that the firing line spread over about three 
quarters of a mile. The interchange of shots was 
kept up for about ten minutes, no one on our side 
being injured, but one of the enemy was wounded in 
the leg, and ultimately committed suicide ; as when 
his body was found the next morning, it was seen 
that he had placed the barrel of his rifle in his mouth, 
and had blown the top of his head off. 

A cessation of hostilities was brought about by our 
people hearing a clear manly voice ring out in sten- 
torian tones from a rock close to the stad. It was 
a dark night, and therefore impossible to obtain even 
a glimpse of the speaker, but the musical notes and 
distinctness of utterance carried with them their own 
impress of dignity, and everybody knew that it was 
Malaboch himself who was addressing them. What 
a voice it was that hushed the strife and commanded 
attention can be understood from the fact that it 
penetrated the forts behind, fully two hundred and 
fifty yards away, and each word was eagerly listened 
to as it fell from the Chiefs lips, and thus it was he 
spoke : 

" You have taken from me my women and children, 
my cattle and corn ; my villages have you burned, 


and now you will not even let me have a drink of 
water ; everything that was mine you have, wait 
until to-morrow and you shall have me. What do 
you seek in fighting to-night ? " 

And he who was interpreting replied : " The wolves 
and jackals come out from their holes only when 
darkness has covered the land, so they must be 
hunted during the night. Come forth in the light 
of day, and we will hear what you have to say ; but 
if you will not face the sun, then we must shoot you 
as we shoot the jackals." 

Malaboch's response was anxiously awaited, but none 
was forthcoming, save an abrupt request that he 
might be allowed to see Mr. Sonntag, the missionary. 
The rest of the night was spent in silence, though 
sleep was not permitted. 

At an early hour the next morning the reverend 
gentleman went up to the cave, and shortly after his 
entrance sounds as of singing were heard. A long 
palaver then evidently took place, but of what nature 
I am unable to say. 

The next incident, however, was a shout from the 
stad, asking our men to refrain from firing, as the 
rest of the women and children and old men were 
coming out, and immediately after, out they trooped. 
Nobody who witnessed the scene — alas, for the horrors 
of war — is likely soon to forget it! Most of the 
unfortunate creatures showed visible signs of ex- 
haustion, and some of the old women, white-haired 
and decrepit, were so enfeebled by age that they had 
to be carried on the backs of the maidens. Wounded 


Kafirs of both sexes were borne along in the throng, 
and one old woman struggled desperately down the 
path with a ghastly burden on her shoulders. At 
first it could not be quite discerned what it was she 
was carrying, but on her nearer approach, it proved 
to be a young warrior, her son. He had been shot 
just above the ankle, and the leg, having rotted 'right 
away up to the thigh, emitted a most fearful stench. 
Terrible tales were told by the natives who had given 
themselves up ; they said there were scores of dead 
bodies in the cave, and that they were piled up at 
the entrance so as to prevent the shells bursting 
inside. The sufferings of the wounded must have 
been too dreadful for words, for in almost every case 
mortification had set in. Many women, it appeared, 
had been shot in their attempts to reach the water, 
the majority being wounded in the feet or lower 
portion of their limbs. 

At midday the missionary came out of the caves 
accompanied by Malaboch's brother, who wished to 
surrender. The latter brought the General a present 
of a sum of money in gold from the Chief ; but the 
General declined to accept it, and told the bearer to 
return and tell Malaboch that he must give himself 
up before sunset, and those of his people who did not 
wish to be killed were to come out without delay. 
The mission did not appear to be a very palatable 
one to the brother, but on being assured that he 
would not be fired upon by our men, he went in and 
delivered the message, and afterwards returned to 
our lines. 



Altogether four hundred and ninety-three people 
had surrendered since yesterday, but none amongst 
these were young bloods, and very few appeared to 
have come from the cave itself. Malaboch's one hope 
consisted in being able to break through our chain of 
forts, and connect with his forces on the back of the 
mountain. To prevent this the General strained 
every nerve ; for he is said to have remarked, that 
unless we "scotch" Malaboch now, we shall have a 
guerilla war more troublesome than any yet ex- 
perienced in South Africa. 

The next morning, Sunday, the 29th of July, news 
reached us that Malaboch had expressed his intention 
to come out during the day, and the white flag was 
flying. There was a report that Malaboch had been 
wounded, but there was no truth in the rumour ; and 
most of us would have been sorry if the Chief had 
been either killed or wounded. A man who, with 
less than a thousand Kafirs (I do not think there 
were more), had kept about two thousand white men 
at bay for two months, was worthy of admiration. 

( 173 ) 




A few days prior to Malaboch's surrender, Captain 
Stent spent a night upon the mountain. The 
following is his description of the time so spent. 
It was, to say the least of it, exciting : — 

" The first part of the night was dark as pitch, save where the 
dull gleam of the dying bivouac fires shone on the stone walls of 
the fort, making darkness visible. Now and again, from the 
cliffs opposite, a gleam of light would be followed by the flash 
and roar of a hand-grenade, and the whole mountain side would 
echo and re-echo until the sound died away in a hoarse whispering 
murmur from some distant forest. No sooner did silence reign 
again, than a rattling volley came from a picket, where some 
poor thirsty wretch was running a last desperate risk in the hope 
of obtaining a mouthful of cold water. At midnight the moon 
rose cold and majestic, tinging first the eastern sky with its 
glow, then touching peak after peak and krantz after krantz, 
until at last it glistened on the water in the ravine below us, and 
the whole scene was bathed in the soft mellow light. In the 
forts could be seen the glint of rifle barrels, and the dark forms 
of sentries on the ramparts, alert to catch the slightest sound 
that might betray a hidden foe, while in the beleaguered town 
lights moved to and fro, and, stealthily, naked forms crept from 
hut to hut. All night long we watched and waited until the 
grey dawn released each sentry from his post, and the fires 
crackled merrily under the early coffee-kettle. Men threw off 
their blankets, and the dull boom of a distant cannon greeted the 
rising sun. 


" Soon after sunrise, on Thursday the 26th July, I started to have 
a look at the Pretoria Johnnies, and had got some three hundred 
yards from the fort, accompanied by one man, when the enemy 
suddenly opened fire from the rear, entirely outside the circle of 
forts. My companion's opinion was that we had better get back 
within the fort as rapidly as possible. We started. A nigger, 
who opened fire on us from about a hundred and fifty yards 
higher up the mountain, increased our anxiety to gain the fort. 
Bang ! bang ! from the head kraal ! two bullets just in front of 
us ! Away we went, Hades for leather, hats under our arms, 
charging through the thorns, dodging in and out in a state of 
complete funk, until, panting and exhausted, we rolled under the 
shelter of a friendly schantz. The attack did not last long, no 
one being hurt on either side, as far as we knew." (P.S. It 
seems a rather one-sided attack, but Captain Stent mentions 
"either" side.) "We laughed a good deal over our little 
escapade when out of danger under the schantz " (and the reader 
is at liberty to do likewise). Captain Stent proceeds: "Mr. 
Jenkins is getting better and has asked me to a picnic to- 
morrow" (I should have stated that Mr. Jenkins, the special 
Press war correspondent, had unfortunately broken his arm). 
u I have a great respect for ' Jenks, but a man who wants to go 
picnicing up the mountain for amusement ! well, what do you 
think? I have been up the mountain all the week, and to- 
morrow being Sunday I want to eat my dinner in peace ; I want 
to be sure I shall not be shot at, and that no one will kick my 
whisky over, while attempting to get out of the way of the big 
gun's recoil. Also I like a table and a tablecloth, and a proper 
knife and fork, and smoke and a doss afterwards ; and, over and 
above all, the delightful assurance that no one is taking careful 
aim at my head from a few yards away. No ! I should like to 
dine with my brother scribblers, but picnics ' is' off." 

Sunday, July 29th, on hearing the news of 
Malaboch's intended surrender, Mr. Jenkins thought 
it well to celebrate the event by having a picnic up 
the river. The party consisted of Messrs. Jenkins 
Ebbage, Amos, Gordon, Stubbs, Fred Neel, Captain 


Stent, Dr. Liknaitzky, Waldeck, and myself. How 
Captain Stent could have imagined there would 
be any danger, I could not understand. A most 
delightful spot had been selected close by the water's 
edge, and the high banks were simply one mass of 
maidenhair ferns. We were beautifully sheltered by 
large trees. Jenkins and I had for many days been 
trying our skill at fishing, but up till then had not 
even had a solitary bite. We left our rods in the 
river, secured to the bank some distance from the 
rendezvous, and then joined our party. Messrs. 
Amos, Gordon, and Stubbs had been hard at work 
preparing the luncheon, which was served hot. We 
were not disturbed at all, and I believe Captain Stent 
enjoyed his dinner, and had even a tablecloth, a 
proper knife and fork, also a smoke and a doss 
afterwards ; neither was his whisky kicked over. 
After spending a most enjoyable afternoon, we 
returned to look after our fishing-rods, but met with 
our usual luck, for we caught nothing. While we 
were here, Neel returned with a rifle and four blank 
cartridges, accompanied by Townsend, a wounded 
artilleryman ; and as they passed they told us they 
were going to have some fun with Amos, Stubbs, and 
Gordon, who were bathing at a forbidden spot. We 
had not to wait long before we heard two loud 
reports and a shout from Gordon. "Come along, 
Dick, the Kafirs are on us ! " And Dick (Amos), I 
was told, with one bound leapt from the water to the 
top of the opposite bank. Stubbs, who was not quite 
so good an athlete, took two jumps. During this 


time Jenkins and I were blowing a whistle and a 
small toning trumpet, which resembled in sound the 
war-horns of the Kafirs, and the fun was kept up for 
some time, until a laugh from the conspirators 
relieved the anxiety of the bathers. They then 
joined us, and we returned to camp in time for the 
evening service. 

Malaboch, as usual, did not keep his word by 
surrendering, but held out as long as he could. 

( m ) 

V i 



On Tuesday, 31st July, I made one of another fishing 
party, the other members being Messrs. Jenkins, 
Pellat, and Brown ; and on our return to the camp 
after dark, the joyful news awaited us that Malaboch, 
with his wives and children, had surrendered that 
afternoon, and was in the Sustenburg fort : not, 
however, without a desperate but fruitless attempt to 
break through our wing on the previous night. The 
first notification of the Chiefs intention to give him- 
self up was the receipt by Commandant Malan of a 
request to be allowed to get some water to wash with, 
prior to coming out ; this was refused, and he was told 
that if he desired to wash he must go down to the 
spruit At about 3.30 in the afternoon, a white 
flag was seen to emerge from the cave, and a close 
scrutiny revealed the fact that it was being carried by 
a small party composed of Malaboch, his two young 
sons, his brother Fapera, four indunas, and about a 
dozen women. The word was being passed along 
the lines that Malaboch was coming out, and 
universal satisfaction was exhibited : men shaking 
hands with each other, and a general smile being 
visible on their countenances. Despite the General's 



orders that all should stand to their posts, there 
was a general rush to the Rustenburg fort, whither 
the Chief had wended his way to tender his 
submission to Commandant Malan. Malaboch looked 
about thirty years of age, standing five feet ten 
inches, with somewhat striking features ; he wore a 
slight moustache and beard, and was attired in a 
light corduroy suit, but had on neither hat nor boots. 
His two sons, apparently about seven and ten years 
of age respectively, were also dressed in European 
costume ; the elder of the two was an exceptionally 
handsome lad. The four indunas were grizzled, 
determined-looking old veterans, and each wore a 
metal torque, betokening that he had killed his man. 
Malaboch wore a most downcast and dejected look, 
but could not repress an occasional smile at the 
openly evinced curiosity his appearance excited on 
all sides. His wives were far superior to those of 
his women who had previously surrendered, having 
light skins and good regular features, and took 
every opportunity of asserting their independence. 

Immediately on Malaboch's party arriving at our 
lines, a strong guard was placed over them, every 
man holding his gun ready to shoot, in case any 
attempt to escape should be made. Up to five o'clock 
only one other native came out from the stronghold, 
Malaboch stating that as it was so late they would 
defer their surrender till the morning. On the 
strength of this information, the order was given 
to still maintain the cordon of pickets round the 


About nine o'clock a volley was fired from the 
direction of Fort Pretoria, which was on the top of 
the hill about three hundred yards above the strong- 
hold, and it was ascertained that three of the enemy 
had attempted to break through. In evidence of this 
a blanket and an assegai were picked up early in the 
morning. A very strong wind had arisen, accom- 
panied by a dense mist, which completely obscured 
the krantz on which the Hoofdstad was situated from 
the view of the vigilant guards. The attempted 
escape was detected, however, and frustrated by the 
volley which we heard. Owing to the wretched 
weather, the pickets spent a most uncomfortable 

In the course of the evening Malaboch, who was 
sitting close to a fire, and had but just refused a 
pinch of snuff, suddenly plunged forward into the 
fire, falling on his face among the burning embers ; 
he was with difficulty rescued from being burnt to 
death. Later on, about eleven o'clock, a similar occur- 
rence took place, and he was again badly burnt ; his 
wives now requested the guards to have him tied up, 
as they insisted that he was trying to commit suicide. 
On this, Malaboch accused his indunas of being the 
cause of his leaving the cave, and they in turn 
retorted that they had repeatedly advised him to 
pay his taxes, and not make war, but he would not 
listen to them. The Chief was then made fast in such 
a manner as to preclude the possibility of his further 
injuring himself, and at an early hour in the morn- 
ing Dr. Laxton went over to the fort and dressed 

N 2 


his injuries, the chief expressing gratitude for his 

Soon after daybreak one of the prisoners was sent 
to the cave with a flag of truce, to try and induce 
those who were supposed to have remained there to 
come out without further trouble ; he returned with a 
vague sort of answer, whereupon the signal was given 
for a general advance upon the Hoofdstad. Daniel 
Coetzee, Nicholas Vlok, and John Conroy, who had for 
some weeks been in charge of the friendly natives, 
proceeded on the right with their forces, whilst 
Lieutenant Schroeder and the Pretorians took the 
centre and left positions, being strengthened by 
Mapen's, Kiviet's and Mathala's Kafirs. Coctzees 
contingent was the first to arrive on the spot, and 
discovered that the cave, or rather the numerous 
large crevices, were completely deserted, the enemy, 
who had been holding possession, having disappeared 
in the most mysterious manner. It was impossible 
to understand how they broke through our lines, or 
to form any accurate idea as to where they had 
gone, unless, indeed, they had betaken themselves to 
the mountain in the rear. The strange fact of the 
business was, why, if it was so easy for Malaboch's 
supporters to effect their escape, the Chief himself did 
not avail himself of the same opportunity rather than 
give in, and it is my opinion that the real Malaboch 
had escaped with his young warriors, especially as 
none of the latter were captured ; it seemed strange 
that the Chief should surrender himself without his 
warriors when he had ample means of escaping with 


them. If our prisoner is Malaboch, then the fact of 
his surrendering under such circumstances is a puzzle 
which Malaboch alone can solve. 

Twenty-five huts still remained intact, these being 
hidden amongst the immense boulders. The village 
itself was enclosed with a strong stockade of thick 
thornbush and creepers, the approaches consisting of 
narrow fissures in the rock, protected by schantzes 
which rendered the position almost impregnable, and 
had there been any resistance, a large loss of life 
would of necessity have ensued. 

The caves were so situated that it would have been 
extremely difficult to shoot any of the occupants, and 
the only means of entrance was by dropping from 
stone to stone, a distance of from twenty to thirty 
feet. Very little loot of intrinsic value was found in 
any of the caves ; Conroy and Coetzee succeeded in 
finding a number of Winchester repeating rifles, and 
guns of other descriptions, as well as a few karosses, 
and a very handsome battle-axe, which was believed 
to have been Malaboch's own ; this was presented to 
Mr. Jenkins, the special correspondent of the Press. 
Considerable dissatisfaction was expressed by these 
gentlemen at the fact that they were not allowed to 
retain possession of these guns, inasmuch as it was 
they who originally scoured the bush, on the condition 
that they were to keep whatever they looted. The 
discovery of these Express rifles, together with a 
case of ammunition, bore out the surmise that certain 
traders had been reaping a harvest by the sale of the 
wherewithal for the natives to continue the war. 


Amongst other things discovered were Dunsdon's 
rifle and the cleaning rod of the cannon taken in the 
affray with the Waterbergers. Two elephants' tusks, 
weighing between fifty and sixty pounds each, were 
also taken and eventually sent to the General. 
Sergeant Lovell Taylor discovered a Kafir pillow 
with a snuff calabash attached, a battle-axe, and a 
part of a New Testament, roughly bound at the back 
with a piece of prepared buckskin. These last find- 
ings he presented to me. It was quite possible that 
other valuables remained in the cave, but a thorough 
search was a matter of danger and difficulty, owing 
to the steep sides on which the only foothold obtain- 
able was by means of sticks hammered in at different 
places, there being several galleries up above, com- 
municating with other chambers ; the place occupied 
by Malaboch and his fanjrily being completely screened 
from danger. 

At a quarter past three the General, accompanied 
by Commandant Trichardt, with an escort, returned 
to the laager, passing along the line of forts. On 
arriving at Fort Schroeder, which was within fifty 
yards of the Hoofdstad, he spoke very kindly to the 
Pretorians and thanked them for their services; he 
said he was more than pleased with the way they 
had conducted themselves during the campaign, and 
trusted that in every undertaking in life they would 
be as successful as they had been in their fight against 
Malaboch. The General paid similar visits to Forts 
Rensburg, Vorster, and Henning, and ordered the 
respective garrisons to evacuate them and return to 




(From a phMofrrapA by 17. II n. tmegrott.) 


the laager; an order, needless to say, promptly 


Yesterday, whilst Malaboch's brother and two other 
prisoners were being escorted to the Rustenburg 
laager, one of them attempted to escape, but was 
recaptured on reaching the bush; he again made a 
dash for liberty, and was promptly shot through the 
heart The Chiefs brother was in consequence kept 

The joyful news reached us that we were to leave 
Blaauwberg next morning : many of our Boer friends 
had already started. 

In bidding farewell to the various contingents, the 
Pretorians carried away with them very pleasant 
recollections of Laager-Commandant Schutte, who 
had spared no trouble, in the exercise of his duties, 
to make camp life pass as pleasantly as possible ; had 
all the Commandants acted in the same manner there 
would have been far less grumbling and dissension. 




The Pretoria relief had arrived and was laagered 
close to the artillery camp. Their advent was 
signalled by a series of feu de joie, and a number 
of them proceeded at once to climb the mountain. 
Orders were heliographed up to Fort Ferreira on 
Wednesday, August 1st, for all the Pretorians to get 
ready to come down that afternoon, and prepare for 
the homeward journey, which would commence the 
next day. 

Sad stories were told by the female prisoners ; 
amongst other things they related how numbers of 
babies were killed by the shock of exploding shells. 
In one particular part of the cave, where the women 
were congregated, it was impossible for them to move 
without crossing the line of fire. This was on the 
side nearest the Rustenburg laager, and consequently 
more than one night was spent by the women lying 
side by side with the corpses of those killed by the 
shells, and which they found the greatest difficulty 
in disposing of. 

Dr. Ziervogel arrived on Saturday night (28th July) 
from Pretoria, with a view to taking charge of the 
hospital arrangements, but was awaiting comfirmation 


of his appointment from the General; meanwhile, 
Dr. Hohls, of Pietersburg, was here, superintending 
everything in the medical line, Dr. Laxton being on 
the mountain. 

The departure of the Pretoria contingent would be 
sorely felt in the hospital, for the whole of the 
medical staff (as already mentioned) had been selected 
from their numbers, and the greatest praise w r as due 
to those who voluntarily elected to undertake the 
arduous and unpleasant task of attending to the 
wants of the sick and wounded. They had done 
such sterling w T ork that it is only right their names 
should be mentioned ; they were Messrs. Idenburg, 
Van Hoofd, Austin T. Brook, Veyleveldt, R. Hoyle, 
A. Walters, R. Amos, J. Gordon, and M. Townsend. 
It would be difficult, indeed, to find men capable of 
replacing them. 

Whilst the Pretorians from Fort Ferreira were 
returning to laager, I rode with Dr. Liknaitzky to 
catch a glimpse of the prisoners in the Rustenburg 
laager, and to bid farewell to the Rev. G. Sonntag. 
Mr. Sonntag expressed himself with regard to the war 
in very plain terms. I give his own words : " I am 
much disgusted with the w r hole proceedings, and feel 
very sorry for Malaboch, as I consider he has been 
most unjustly treated." Bidding the reverend gentle- 
man adieu, we w r ended our w r ay to the Rustenburg 
laager, which was close by ; there were about a 
hundred prisoners, mostly very old women and little 
children. There w r ere a few old men with hoary 
heads, some of whom appeared to be over a hundred 


years of age. Malaboch had not come clown from 
the mountain, but was expected in camp that after- 
noon. We saw his brother, who had tried to escape, 
with chains fastened to his wrists. On our return to 
the laager we found that it was broken up, and many 
of the wagons had already trekked for home. All the 
members of my mess were busy packing up, and 
everything was got ready for trekking before we 

The next morning, at 10 A.M., a Council of War 
was held to decide on the disposal of Malaboch. The 
members consisted of General Joubert, Commandants 
Erasmus, Malan, Trichardt, Pretorius, Uijs, and 
Botha, Commissary-General Meyer, and most of the 
Veld-Cornets. General Joubert, President of the 
Council, suggested that, before commencing the dis- 
cussion, those holding only acting right should be 
sworn in, in order to assure the legal position of the 
Council, which was done. The President then offered 
a short prayer, and commenced the proceedings. 
Commandant Pretorius inquired whether the cattle 
which he had taken from a friendly chief during hid 
patrol had been returned, as their capture was alto- 
gether a mistake. The Commandant then wished to 
know whether sufficient notice had been given to the 
natives who had claims, so as to enable them to be 
present and regain their cattle. Commandant Vor- 
ster, of the Commission of War, stated that all the 
cattle which had been captured in error had been 
returned to their respective owners. Commandant 
Pretorius inquired whether the various Commandants, 

[To fan pant 1( 

I ' 



whose men were engaged in the attack and the 
retreat, during which the three-pounder was captured 
by the enemy, and recaptured by our men, had sent 
in their reports, as they (the reports) would be 
required by him during the inquiry as to the loss of 
the gun. He was informed that all reports had been 
sent in. General Joubert opened the question as to 
the disposal of the Chief. Commandant Pretorius 
wished to postpone the discussion until the entire 
tribe had surrendered, and advised due consideration 
before the adoption of any harsh measures. General 
Joubert suggested that Malaboch should be retained 
as a prisoner of war until the conclusion of the whole 
campaign, and gave as the reason the opinion that no 
other Chief would surrender if Malaboch were shot, 
but would fight to the death. Commandant Pre- 
torius thought that the execution of the Chief would 
serve as a warning and deterrent to the other Chiefs. 
The General said it was not part of Kafir nature to 
profit by example ; take, for instance, the hanging of 
Mampoer.* Commandant Pretorius said that Mam- 
poer was a murderer, as well as a rebel. Then, again, 
there was the case of Njabel ; f but the Commissioner 
of War pointed out that this Chief surrendered under 
promise of his life, whereas Malaboch had surrendered 
unconditionally. Commandant Uijs wished to deal 

* Mampoer was hanged in Pretoria for killing a Chief of Seku- 
kuni's country. He was the second captain of Mapoch's country. 

| Njabel was fought against for not giving up Mampoer. 
He was the first captain of Mapoch's country, and is still in 
Pretoria gaol. The war took place in 1883. 


with the case at once. Commandant Erasmus was 
desirous of instantly making an example of the Chief, 
and most stringently objected to the case being dealt 
with by the high court. There appeared to be a 
general feeling against the high court. One Com- 
mandant hoped that the men who had had all the 
trouble with the Chief would be allowed to try him. 
The proposal of the President was eventually put, 
" That Malaboch be retained as a prisoner of war 
until the termination of the entire campaign." This 
was passed unanimously. The question of the dis- 
posal of the women and children then came up, and 
after some discussion, it was decided to share them 
out among the various districts, excepting Waterberg 
and Zoutpansberg, for five years. 

A Kafir god, in the shape of a huge carved 
crocodile, was brought into camp to-day, amid much 
beating of drums and blowing of horns. The war- 
drums, and many of the weapons, were marked with 
the crocodile. This curiosity is now in the Pretoria 

( 189 ) 



On Thursday, the 2nd August, 1894, we arose at 
7 A.M., and had a makeshift breakfast, as nobody felt 
hungry. We were only too glad to bid farewell to 
the blue mountains, and about ten we trekked for 
home. After travelling for nearly two hours we 
outspanned at a shady place in the veld, and the old 
style of boiling the kettle while on the route up was 
resumed. In our eagerness, we set fire, accidentally, 
to the grass round about, which spread rapidly, but 
was extinguished before damage was done. We 
spanned in again at 3 p.m. ; the roads were so bad 
that we all had to get down and push, the wheels 
being deeply embedded in the sand. The next 
morning, desiring to reach home as soon as possible, 
we trekked at two o'clock, and outspanned at six, 
near a kraal. We were very short of oxen, only ten 
in each wagon, and those very poor. Nothing more 
important than the ordinary vexations of travel on 
South African roads occurred till we arrived at 
Tibaan's Loop, where so much bartering took place 
on our journey up. We visited the various kraals, 
where there was a great beer drink on. Numbers of 
young girls were marching round the hute singing. 


The married and elder women were more or less 
drunk, and, for our amusement, engaged in hand-to- 
hand conflicts, with dried amabele stalks for weapons, 
slashing each other savagely over the bare shoulders, 
and raising huge weals. 

I asked to see the Chief, and was directed to his 
hut. On calling to him, he crawled out on his hands 
and knees ; he, too, had been imbibing too freely, but 
had sense enough to understand that I was a Mfun- 
disi, and was desirous of speaking to his people. He 
was somewhat grumpy at my request, but yielded, 
and gathered t ogether about thirty, who sat down in 
a semicircle, he in their midst. As they had all 
been drinking very heavily, I spoke to them of the 
evils of intemperance. This was too much for the 
Chief, who evidently felt very uncomfortable. He 
got up, and went away, excusing himself by saying 
that he was very old, and could not sit in that 
position for long at a time. Messrs. Eddie Cooper 
and Fred McArthur acted as interpreters. The Chief 
informed me that the young girls present were still 
at school, and that he had invited them to his feast, 
which would last three months. We trekked on 
about four, and outspanned three hours afterwards 
close to the Chief Mathala's house. Next day, 
Sunday, we trekked on as far as the mission station, 
and I called, with Lieutenant Holzer, on our friend, 
the Rev. Mr. Parisius. He seemed much depressed, 
and Mrs. Parisius was ill. I soon learned the reason 
for this depression and illness. On our journey up, 
I observed a fine little fellow, two and a half years 


of age, whom I now missed. I asked where he was, 
•and with much emotion Mr. Parisius informed me that 
his bright little son had expired of croup four weeks 
ago. I held service in the camp at 10.30, at which 
Mr. Parisius was present. After the service, he very 
kindly presented us with a number of oranges, and 
these were much enjoyed, as the day was very hot. 
I then, with Mr. Tischer (a German), attended the 
native service in the mission chapel. It was very 
impressive, and Mr. Parisius, who is gifted with a 
rich voice, led the singing. We joined them at 
dinner, and soon after, Lieutenant Holzer came. 
Mrs. Parisius looked very ill. Their little daughter, 
aged about nine, was exceptionally quiet, and seemed 
to feel the loss of the companionship of her little 
brother very keenly. Mr. Parisius took us into his 
garden, where we gathered more oranges from the 
trees. The kindness and hospitality of this gentle- 
man I much appreciated. He rejoiced with us at the 
success of the campaign, and wished us Godspeed. 
We thanked our kind host and hostess, and bade 
them adieu. 

During the next trek Gerard and G. Waldeck took 
their guns and left the wagons on a search for game. 
They brought back a few partridges and pheasants, 
which agreeably varied our fare. There was veiy 
little sport to be had, as the veld was ablaze — this 
being the grass burning season. Our next outspan 
was at Biltongfontein. One wagon, occupied 
exclusively by Hollanders, broke down during this 
trek, but was fixed up for the time being. Here (at 


Biltongfontein) we had some shooting practice, and 
Gerard proved to be the best shot, bringing the objects 
shot at down twice in succession. I accompanied 
Gerard, Waldeck, and Austin Brook on a koodoo hunt, 
but without result, our only bag being a plump 
partridge. Returning to the wagons we found that 
the game shot by Waldeck and Gerard had already 
been cooked, and we had a most sumptuous repast. 
Our bill of fare was as follows : roast pheasant, 
roast partridge, jugged hare, potatoes, preserved 
cabbage (this latter being part of the dainties 
provided by Mrs. Henshall on our leaving Pretoria), 
blanc-mange, rusks, cocoa, and coffee. The next 
morning we were off again at five and reached Pietpot- 
gietersrust at 7.15. I visited the village school, kept 
by Mr. Botha ; I was accompanied by Gerard, Lovell 
Taylor, Mauritz Preller, Jacques du Troit, J. Nel, 
and A. Walters. Mr. Botha, uncle to Gerard, 
invited me to examine the children, which I did ; 
they were well advanced in grammar, geography > 
reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Their singing was really good, and reflected great 
credit on the schoolmaster and his able assistant, 
Miss Pretorius. We stayed for two hours, much to 
the delight of Mr. Botha, and our visit certainly 
gave pleasure to the youngsters, especially when I 
recommended a half holiday, which was granted. 
After calling on Mrs. Ross, to whom I was introduced 
by R. Amos, we continued our journey. We met 
the Rev. Mr. Faure, the Dutch minister, who; was 
returning in his buggy from Waterberg, after having 


held a service there. The reverend gentleman 
exchanged friendly greeting with us, and each party 
went on its way. 

At our next outspan I sent a telegram to the 
Bishop, informing him that we hoped to reach Pretoria 
on the 14th or 15th August. 

About one hundred wagons passed us here and 
nearly four hundred men, who were on their way to 
the low country, and were to relieve the Rusten- 
burgers. Lovell Taylor offered a bandolier to one 
of the Boers for seven shillings and sixpence. He 
took it away to his wagon and straightway dis- 
appeared in the dust raised by the train of wagons — 
there was nothing more seen of the Boer or the 
bandolier, which belonged, not to Lovell Taylor 
(he was commissioned only to sell it), but to Gerard, 
and was his own private property and not part of 
the Goverment equipment. We soon reached Buiskop 
in the Waterberg District, and only a few miles from 
the warm baths. The trees just here were simply 
one mass of white blossom, resembling the English 
May, and were, indeed, a striking sight. 

Lieutenant Holzer, Acting Veld-Cornet, left for 
Nylstroom to buy trek cattle, as we had great 
difficulty in proceeding with the animals that had 
been with us at the front. He secured twenty, with 
which we made reasonable progress. 

On Saturday, August 11th, we arrived at the 
Warm Baths Hotel. We were all very glad to reach 
this delightful spot once more, and to meet the genial 
host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser, who spared no 




pains in making everybody as comfortable as possible. 
In the evening, through the forethought and exertions 
of Messrs. Vogts and J. Tischer, a concert was held 
in the dining-room. The proceedings were much 
enhanced by the presence of visitors from Pretoria. 
They were, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Celliers, Mr. and 
. Mrs. Maughan, Mr. and Mrs. Neal, and Mrs. Visser. 
The programme was as follows : — 
Piano Solo Mr. de Voogd. 

Song . . 

Song . . 

Song . . 
Song . 

Song . . 
Piano Solo 

Song . . 

Song . . 
Song . 
Song . 
Song . 

Song . . 

Song . . 

Duet . . 

" Malaboch." Mr. Kenny Shepherd. 
" The Scout." Mr. Neal. 
" The Vagabond." Mr. Austin Brook. 
"The Maid of the Mill." Mr. B. Hoyle. 
"The Powder Monkey." Mr. Claridge. 
Mr. Kaiser. 

11 Comrades." 

" For Me." 

" The Old Horse." 

" Schwiegerman." 

" Nancy Lee." 

" The Midshipmite." 


" Rameaux." 


" Larboard Watch." 

Mr. T. Anderson. 
Mrs. Visser. 
Mr. Maughan. 
Mr. K Schmidt. 
Mr. Chas. Lever. 
Bev. Colin Bae. 
Mr. A. Walters. 
Mr. de Voogd. 
Mr. J. D. Celliers. 
Mr. Austin Brook <£• 
Bev. Colin Bae. 
Dr. Tobias (the com- 
Mr. A. Walters. 

Song (by special request) " Malaboch." . 
Song .... " Mary and John." 

Mr. J. D. Celliers occupied the chair, with 
Lieutenant Holzer in the vice-chair. Messrs. de 
Voogd and D. Kaiser were the accompanists. The 
great catch of the evening was, of course, the song 
" Malaboch/' which was rendered in grand style by 
Dr. Tobias. 


The next morning (Sunday, August 12th), through 
the kindness of Mr. Kaiser, I held a religious service 
in the drawing-room of the hotel. Mr. Kaiser was 
good enough to accompany the hymns on his piano. 
It had been arranged that the whole of the contingent 
should dine at the hotel, but owing to one of our 
men attacking and half killing the coolie cook, this 
idea had to be abandoned, much to the disgust of all, 
as our provisions were very scarce. The wagons started 
at 3 o'clock. Lieutenant Schroeder invited me to 
stay with him at the hotel as his guest, intending 
to catch up the wagons at the Thorns. Mr. J. Conroy 
was good enough to leave his horse behind for my 
use. In the evening we held a sacred concert, and 
retired at 10.30. 

Soon after I had entered my room, I noticed a 
black uneven streak on the pillow-case. Thinking 
it to be a piece of string, I attempted to remove it, 
when lo and behold ! to my horror, it was full of life ; 
the supposed string was nothing but large red ants. 
I knocked up Schroeder, who was next door, and on 
our searching further, we came across thousands of 
these horrid creatures racing over the quilt ; some of 
them started flying. In one part of the room there 
was a mass of these insects — simply a lump of legs, 
wings, and bodies of ants, some six inches by three, 
and quivering with life ; I never saw such a thing 
before nor since. Mr. Kaiser came in with some 
Keating's powder, and as he sprinkled it freely about 
the bed, remarked: "This will soon make them 
trek." However, they didn't trek quick enough for 

O 2 


me to occupy that room, and I wish here to express 
my obligations to Lieutenant Schroeder, who most 
courteously gave up his room for my use; thus 
adding one more to the many acts of kindness and 
consideration for which I am indebted to this 

The following day, in company of Mesdames Visser 
and Maughan and Mr. Dor£, we enjoyed some good 
croquet Mr. Dor£, who was an invalid, had come 
here to benefit his health, by bathing in the warm 
springs which burst from the ground, and from which 
the place derives its name. In the afternoon the 
ladies, Lieutenant Schroeder, and myself were driven 
to Potgieter's farm. We were most courteously 
received by Mr., Mrs., and Miss Potgieter. A feature 
of the farm was a fruit garden, wherein all kinds of 
tropical fruit-trees thrived, more especially the orange 
and banana. On the orange-trees were fruit and 
blossom at the same time — quite a novelty to me. 
Mr. Potgieter kindly invited us to take away as much 
of the ripe fruit as we could carry — an invitation which 
we heartily availed ourselves of, and we then returned 
to the hotel Mr. Kaiser gave us a most pressing 
invitation to stay the night as his guests ; but this 
we could not do, as it would take us all our time to 
catch up with the train of wagons before they reached 
the Thorns. 

At 10.30 p.m., we (Lieutenant Schroeder and 
myself) started off on our ride, by the light of the 
moon. R. Amos, who had also been the guest of Lieu- 
tenant Schroeder, undertook to act as our guide, 



saying that he knew the road well. We therefore 
followed his lead, which resulted first in our rousing 
a white man at a wayside house to inquire the way. 
He told us to retrace our steps some three hours ; in 
attempting to do this we got more lost than we were 
before, and roused some Kafirs in a kraal ; then some 
" boys " sleeping in a scotch cart, and by their united 
directions, about three in the morning, came to a 
signboard on the roadside marked (in English), " to 
the warm baths," which was very disappointing. 
Day was now breaking and we could form some idea 
of the way we should not take ; so by the process of 
exhaustion, we started off again, this time in the 
right road, and arrived about 4.30 at Valboschfontein. 
Here we ofFsaddled, fed our horses, and slept for two 
hours, reaching Pienaars River, in the wake of the 
wagons, in time for breakfast. We met a young 
fellow named Bowmaker, who was en route from 
Pretoria to Pietersburg, on a bicycle. Pienaars River 
is some forty miles from Pretoria, and Bowmaker was 
five and a half hours out. Schroeder's horse had 
gone lame before we reached this place, and in conse- 
quence we stayed longer than we had intended; it 
was half-past eleven before we were in the saddle 
again. The horse's lameness got worse as we proceeded, 
and we had to leave the animal at Hainan's kraal, 
Schroeder procuring another mount there. Then we 
rode on to Lewis's Store, reaching there about 1.30 p.m., 
thence to Water val at 6 p.m., where we caught up to 
the wagons, and dined ; later on riding forward to the 
Thorns (the scene of the potclay incident on the way 



up), where we camped for the night. At five the 
following morning, Lieutenant Schroeder roused me 
and we rode on, in advance of the wagons to Wonder- 
boom, reaching there at 6.30 in the morning. At this 
place we waited for the Reception Committee. Dr. 
Mader, Messrs. Reno, Gates, Barrett, and Eddie Cooper 
(the latter having ridden into Pretoria the previous 
night) were among the first to arrive. We filled up 
the time with rifle practice and football. 

( 199 ) 



The following is taken in great part from the 
Press of the 18th August, 1894 :— 

We arrived at Wonderboom Poort on Wednesday 
morning, the 15th August, just twelve weeks from 
the date of our departure. We were not there long 
before the town civilian contingent met us. Every 
horse and every vehicle in the place must have been 
brought into requisition, and the road to Wonderboom 
Poort was thronged with a succession of vehicles, 
cyclists, horsemen, and pedestrians. 

The road is, in all conscience, dusty enough on 
ordinary occasions, but in this particular instance it 
surpassed itself. With a cross wind blowing, the sand 
simply flew into one's eyes, ears, and mouth, as it was 
ploughed up by the various methods of progression 

We were all in the best of health, some being 
bronzed and bearded almost beyond recognition, in 
consequence of exposure to sun and air, and non- 
exposure to the barber. 

As carriage after carriage drove up we were met by 
friends, and heartily congratulated on our safe return. 


The original arrangement was to start from Wonder- 
. boom at 2.30, so that the triumphal entry into 
Pretoria might be made about 3.30, but (strange for 
South Africa) everything got a little ahead of its 
appointed time. The cabs chartered to convey us 
turned up about the time they (the cabs) should have 
left Church Square; and as there was an evident 
anxiety to start, the Cab Committee set to work. 
There was little difficulty in this operation, for the 
men were quite as eager to get to sweethearts and 
wives, as sweethearts and wives were to receive them. 
A green sash, on which was sewn a vierkleur rosette, 
was distributed to every member of the returning 
troops, and then a start was made at about two o'clock. 
Veld-Cornet Melt Marais had previously arrived in 
charge of the Volunteer Cavalry, and as the cavalcade 
was being got in order, he renewed acquaintance with 
old friends of the contingent. He also brought a 
letter for me from the Bishop, welcoming us back and 
inviting me to stay at Bishop's Cote. If ever a man 
deserved to have his arm ache for a week from hearty 
hand-shaking, Melt Marais was that man. 

After Mr. HaarhofF had succeeded in getting the 
vehicles in something like order, the carriages 
containing the members of the Executive and sub- 
Committees led the way, the cavalry acting as advance 

The first carriage contained Mr. J. S. Smit, Chair- 
man of the Committee, and Mr. Loots, Secretary; 
next came a landau carrying Mr. James, Lieutenant 
Holzer, Mr. Buykes, and Dr. Lenshoek ; then followed 


another four-wheeler with Mr. Jahn, Acting Veld- 
Cornet Charles Rice, and Mr. Vivian Otto. There 
were several other carriages containing members of 
the Committee and sub-Committees, whose names are 
mentioned further on. 

Behind the Committee came the cabs containing 
the unmounted men of the contingent. It was 
noticeable that the horses did not appear to have 
stood the campaign as well as the men, for most of 
them were rather low in condition, showing more 
ribs than flesh. When passing the Pelican Club 
Mr. Parker came out and waved the National flag, 
and was heartily cheered. 

Nearing Mr. ElofTs house, the length of the pro- 
cession could be judged. Including the private 
vehicles which fell in the rear, there must have been 
a string over a mile in length. There was a large 
concourse of people at Arcadia Bridge ; the Infantry 
Volunteers had been drawn up there with the band, 
under Bandmaster Amorisson (who, by the way, had 
licked his men into decent shape in a very short 
time). Mr. Eddie Meintjes was also in evidence with 
the red, white, blue, and green. Here a halt was 
called ; the band formed up, and the volunteers 
shouldered their rifles, and the march continued 
through Church Street East to Church Square. It 
was an inspiriting spectacle. The side walks were 
crowded with onlookers from the bridge to the square ; 
every popular demonstration that tact, thought, and 
affection could supply was given, including loud 
cheers and waving of handkerchiefs. We were 


utterly astounded at the enthusiasm displayed in 
welcoming us, and thoroughly appreciated the great 
kindness and self-denying efforts of our warm-hearted 
Pretoria friends. 

Banners and mottoes met our eyes at every turn ; 
even the blue gum-trees in the Arcadia Avenue had 
been made use of to display the Transvaal flag. 
Nothing prettier in the way of decorations had ever 
been seen in Pretoria, and we were bid " Welcome/' in 
English and Dutch, from many a house-front. The 
following gentlemen constituted the various Com- 
mittees : — Concert : Messrs. Serrurier, Cronin, E. P. A. 
Meintjes, Petric, and Tuke. Cabs: Messrs. A. C 
Meintjes, Cronin, and H. F. Strange. Sashes : Messrs. 
Botha, Vorstman, Buykes, and Percy Levy. Decora- 
tions : Messrs. Serrurier, Leo. Weinthal, Van Vouw, 
De Wildt, and Bouchamp. Executive : Messrs. Wolff, 
Vorstman, Dr. Engelenburg, Haarhoff, and Dr. Knobel. 

Later on the men were addressed at the Landdrost's 
office by Landdrost Schutte and Commissioner Smit ; 
the latter, in very complimentary terms, referring to 
the military discipline and soldierly conduct of the 
Pretoria contingent Mr. E. P. A. Meintjes then read 
the address of welcome ; an engraving from a photo- 
graph by Mr. C. H. B. Lovegrove, of Lydenburg, is 
given on the opposite page. 

A copy of the address, which was designed and 
lithographed at the Pretoria Press works, was 
presented by the proprietors to each of the members 
of A. contingent' L adjoint waa then made 
to the Government buildings, where His Honour the 

• J 

' ! 











State President addressed the commando. His Honour, 
standing up in his carriage, said : — 

" Burghers, Friends, and New-Comers, — I have much pleasure 
in welcoming back the men who willingly went to the front- 
It is a source of pleasure for me to stato — it has, indeed, given me 
much gratification — that I have never heard of a single complaint 
or of a single act of disobedience on the part of those who were 
commandeered, neither from the burghers nor from the aliens. 
On the contrary, you have willingly gone, and willingly entered 
into the rocks, into the dark caves, and brought forth the enemy. 
I have not heard of any disobedience, but obediently have you 
proceeded on your mission, and you have hauled out the enemy. 
Aye, even so brave were you that you would not stop at the foot 
of the mountain, but insisted to storm the same, in order to 
drive the enemy from his stronghold in the caves. By doing 
this you have given me proof of your faithfulness to the South 
African Republic, the State you have accepted as your fatherland. 
I do not desire to make a distinction between nationalities, as 
far as the franchise is concerned, but only between those who are 
faithful, and you, most of you, who are strangers, have now 
shown, in connection with this war, that you sympathise with us. 
For this reason it is my intention, without the necessity for any 
alteration in the franchise law, to frame a list on which the 
names of those men who have so willingly fought in the country's 
cause shall appear, and submit the same to the Volksraad. 
They have, gentlemen, identified themselves, as far as fealty and 
fidelity to the State are concerned, with the old burghers. And 
not only to you whom I now address does this apply, but it 
extends to all the men of all the districts who have gone 
willingly to the call of duty, and who are now absent and cannot 
hear what I say this day; but I doubt not there is someone 
present who will record the words I speak. In times of peace 
a man has many friends, but in the hour of danger one learns 
who are his real friends. Again I thank you for your loyalty, 
and wish you, with all my heart, welcome home. And before I 
close, one single word to my friends in the town ; some of our 
men have not yet arrived. They are coming in charge of the 
enemy. Give them also an honourable reception; they also 
deserve it well. I have said." 





State President addressed the commando. His Honour, 
standing up in his carriage, said : — 

" Burghers, Friends, and New-Comers, — I have much pleasure 
in welcoming back the men who willingly went to the front* 
It is a source of pleasure for me to state — it has, indeed, given me 
much gratification — that I have never heard of a single complaint 
or of a single act of disobedience on the part of those who were 
commandeered, neither from the burghers nor from the aliens. 
On the contrary, you have willingly gone, and willingly entered 
into the rocks, into the dark caves, and brought forth the enemy. 
I have not heard of any disobedience, but obediently have you 
proceeded on your mission, and you have hauled out the enemy. 
Aye, even so brave were you that you would not stop at the foot 
of the mountain, but insisted to storm the same, in order to 
drive the enemy from his stronghold in the caves. By doing 
this you have given me proof of your faithfulness to the South 
African Republic, the State you have accepted as your fatherland. 
I do not desire to make a distinction between nationalities, as 
far as the franchise is concerned, but only between those who are 
faithful, and you, most of you, who are strangers, have now 
shown, in connection with this war, that you sympathise with us. 
For this reason it is my intention, without the necessity for any 
alteration in the franchise law, to frame a list on which the 
names of those men who have so willingly fought in the country's 
cause shall appear, and submit the same to the Volksraad. 
They have, gentlemen, identified themselves, as far as fealty and 
fidelity to the State are concerned, with the old burghers. And 
not only to you whom I now address does this apply, but it 
extends to all the men of all the districts who have gone 
willingly to the call of duty, and who are now absent and cannot 
hear what I say this day ; but I doubt not there is someone 
present who will record the words I speak. In times of peace 
a man has many friends, but in the hour of danger one learns 
who are his real friends. Again I thank you for your loyalty, 
and wish you, with all my heart, welcome home. And before I 
close, one single word to my friends in the town ; some of our 
men have not yet arrived. They are coming in charge of the 
enemy. Give them also an honourable reception; they also 
deserve it well. I have said." 




State President addressed the commando. His Honour, 
standing up in his carriage, said : — 

" Burghers, Friends, and New-Comers, — I have much pleasure 
in welcoming back the men who willingly went to the front* 
It is a source of pleasure for me to state — it has, indeed, given me 
much gratification — that I have never heard of a single complaint 
or of a single act of disobedience on the part of those who were 
commandeered, neither from the burghers nor from the aliens. 
On the contrary, you have willingly gone, and willingly entered 
into the rocks, into the dark caves, and brought forth the enemy. 
I have not heard of any disobedience, but obediently have you 
proceeded on your mission, and you have hauled out the enemy. 
Aye, even so brave were you that you would not stop at the foot 
of the mountain, but insisted to storm the same, in order to 
drive the enemy from his stronghold in the caves. By doing 
this you have given me proof of your faithfulness to the South 
African Republic, the State you have accepted as your fatherland. 
I do not desire to make a distinction between nationalities, as 
far as the franchise is concerned, but only between those who are 
faithful, and you, most of you, who are strangers, have now 
shown, in connection with this war, that you sympathise with us. 
For this reason it is my intention, without the necessity for any 
alteration in the franchise law, to frame a list on which the 
names of those men who have so willingly fought in the country's 
cause shall appear, and submit the same to the Volksraad. 
They have, gentlemen, identified themselves, as far as fealty and 
fidelity to the State are concerned, with the old burghers. And 
not only to you whom I now address does this apply, but it 
extends to all the men of all the districts who have gone 
willingly to the call of duty, and who are now absent and cannot 
hear what I say this day ; but I doubt not there is someone 
present who will record the words I speak. In times of peace 
a man has many friends, but in the hour of danger one learns 
who are his real friends. Again I thank you for your loyalty, 
and wish you, with all my heart, welcome home. And before I 
close, one single word to my friends in the town ; some of our 
men have not yet arrived. They are coming in charge of the 
enemy. Give them also an honourable reception; they also 
deserve it well. I have said." 




State President addressed the commando. His Honour, 
standing up in his carriage, said : — 

"Burghers, Friends, and New-Comers, — I have much pleasure 
in welcoming back the men who willingly went to the front* 
It is a source of pleasure for me to state — it has, indeed, given me 
much gratification — that I have never heard of a single complaint 
or of a single act of disobedience on the part of those who were 
commandeered, neither from the burghers nor from the aliens. 
On the contrary, you have willingly gone, and willingly entered 
into the rocks, into the dark caves, and brought forth the enemy. 
I have not heard of any disobedience, but obediently have you 
proceeded on your mission, and you have hauled out the enemy. 
Aye, even so brave were you that you would not stop at the foot 
of the mountain, but insisted to storm the same, in order to 
drive the enemy from his stronghold in the caves. By doing 
this you have given me proof of your faithfulness to the South 
African Republic, the State you have accepted as your fatherland. 
I do not desire to make a distinction between nationalities, as 
far as the franchise is concerned, but only between those who are 
faithful, and you, most of you, who are strangers, have now 
shown, in connection with this war, that you sympathise with us. 
For this reason it is my intention, without the necessity for any 
alteration in the franchise law, to frame a list on which the 
names of those men who have so willingly fought in the country's 
cause shall appear, and submit the same to the Volksraad. 
They have, gentlemen, identified themselves, as far as fealty and 
fidelity to the State are concerned, with the old burghers. And 
not only to you whom I now address does this apply, but it 
extends to all the men of all the districts who have gone 
willingly t° the call of duty, and who are now absent and cannot 
hear what I say this day ; but I doubt not there is someone 
present who will record the words I speak. In times of peace 
a man has many friends, but in the hour of danger one learns 
who are his real friends. Again I thank you for your loyalty, 
and wish you, with all my heart, welcome home. And before I 
close, one single word to my friends in the town ; some of our 
men have not yet arrived. They are coming in charge of the 
enemy. Give them also an honourable reception; they also 
deserve it well. I have said." 


State President addressed the commando. His Honour, 
standing up in his carriage, said : — 

" Burghers, Friends, and New-Comers, — I have much pleasure 
in welcoming back the men who willingly went to the front- 
It is a source of pleasure for me to state — it has, indeed, given me 
much gratification — that I have never heard of a single complaint 
or of a single act of disobedience on the part of those who were 
commandeered, neither from the burghers nor from the aliens. 
On the contrary, you have willingly gone, and willingly entered 
into the rocks, into the dark caves, and brought forth the enemy. 
I have not heard of any disobedience, but obediently have you 
proceeded on your mission, and you have hauled out the enemy. 
Aye, even so brave were you that you would not stop at the foot 
of the mountain, but insisted to storm the same, in order to 
drive the enemy from his stronghold in the caves. By doing 
this you have given me proof of your faithfulness to the South 
African Republic, the State you have accepted as your fatherland. 
I do not desire to make a distinction between nationalities, as 
far as the franchise is concerned, but only between those who are 
faithful, and you, most of you, who are strangers, have now 
shown, in connection with this war, that you sympathise with us. 
For this reason it is my intention, without the necessity for any 
alteration in the franchise law, to frame a list on which the 
names of those men who have so willingly fought in the country's 
cause shall appear, and submit the same to the Volksraad. 
They have, gentlemen, identified themselves, as far as fealty and 
fidelity to the State are concerned, with the old burghers. And 
not only to you whom I now address does this apply, but it 
extends to all the men of all the districts who have gone 
willingly to the call of duty, and who are now absent and cannot 
hear what I say this day ; but I doubt not there is someone 
present who will record the words I speak. In times of peace 
a man has many friends, but in the hour of danger one learns 
who are his real friends. Again I thank you for your loyalty, 
and wish you, with all my heart, welcome home. And before I 
close, one single word to my friends in the town ; some of our 
men have not yet arrived. They are coming in charge of the 
enemy. Give them also an honourable reception; they also 
deserve it well. I have said." 


utterly astounded at the enthusiasm displayed in 
welcoming us, and thoroughly appreciated the great 
kindness and self-denying efforts of our warm-hearted 
Pretoria friends. 

Banners and mottoes met our eyes at every turn ; 
even the blue gum-trees in the Arcadia Avenue had 
been made use of to display the Transvaal flag. 
Nothing prettier in the way of decorations had ever 
been seen in Pretoria, and we were bid " Welcome," in 
English and Dutch, from many a house-front. The 
following gentlemen constituted the various Com- 
mittees : — Concert : Messrs. Serrurier, Cronin, ERA. 
Meintjes, Petrie, and Tuke. Cabs: Messrs. A. C. 
Meintjes, Cronin, and H. F. Strange. Sashes : Messrs. 
Botha, Vorstman, Buykes, and Percy Levy. Decora- 
tions : Messrs. Serrurier, Leo. Weinthal, Van Vouw, 
De Wildt, and Bouchamp. Executive : Messrs. Wolff, 
Vorstman, Dr. Engelenburg, Haarhoff, and Dr. Knobel. 

Later on the men were addressed at the Landdrost 8 
office by Landdrost Schutte and Commissioner Smit ; 
the latter, in very complimentary terms, referring to 
the military discipline and soldierly conduct of the 
Pretoria contingent. Mr. E. P. A. Meintjes then read 
the address of welcome ; an engraving from a photo- 
graph by Mr. C. H. B. Lovegrove, of Lydenburg, is 
given on the opposite page. 

A copy of the address, which was designed and 
lithographed at the Pretoria Press works, was 
presented by the proprietors to each of the members 
of the contingent. An adjournment was then made 
to the Government buildings, where His Honour the 



State President addressed the commando. His Honour, 
standing up in his carriage, said : — 

" Burghers, Friends, and New-Comers, — I have much pleasure 
in welcoming back the men who willingly went to the front- 
It is a source of pleasure for me to stato — it has, indeed, given me 
much gratification — that I have never heard of a single complaint 
or of a single act of disobedience on the part of those who were 
commandeered, neither from the burghers nor from the aliens. 
On the contrary, you have willingly gone, and willingly entered 
into the rocks, into the dark caves, and brought forth the enemy. 
I have not heard of any disobedience, but obediently have you 
proceeded on your mission, and you have hauled out the enemy. 
Aye, even so brave were you that you would not stop at the foot 
of the mountain, but insisted to storm the same, in order to 
drive the enemy from his stronghold in the caves. By doing 
this you have given me proof of your faithfulness to the South 
African Republic, the State you have accepted as your fatherland. 
I do not desire to make a distinction between nationalities, as 
far as the franchise is concerned, but only between those who are 
faithful, and you, most of you, who are strangers, have now 
shown, in connection with this war, that you sympathise with us. 
For this reason it is my intention, without the necessity for any 
alteration in the franchise law, to frame a list on which the 
names of those men who have so willingly fought in the country's 
cause shall appear, and submit the same to the Volksraad. 
They have, gentlemen, identified themselves, as far as fealty and 
fidelity to the State are concerned, with the old burghers. And 
not only to you whom I now address does this apply, but it 
extends to all the men of all the districts who have gone 
willingly to the call of duty, and who are now absent and cannot 
hear what I say this day; but I doubt not there is someone 
present who will record the words I speak. In times of peace 
a man has many friends, but in the hour of danger one learns 
who are his real friends. Again I thank you for your loyalty, 
and wish you, with all my heart, welcome home. And before I 
close, one single word to my friends in the town ; some of our 
men have not yet arrived. They are coming in charge of the 
enemy. Give them also an honourable reception; they also 
deserve it well. I have said." 


His Honour then left his carriage and disappeared 
within the precincts of the Government buildings, 
and an adjournment was then made to the old 
Standard Bank, where refreshments were partaken 
of. There Mr. Serrurier eulogised Colonel Ferreira 
and Lieutenant Charles Kice, toasting them with 
musical honours. The assembly was also addressed 
by Messrs. Meintjes, J. W. Leonard, Dr. Leyds, 
State Secretary, and Mr. Ewald Esselen, State 
Attorney. Commissioner Smit, Mr. Zeiler, and 
others entered the room and fraternised with the 
men, shaking hands all round. At the request of 
Mr. Esselen and Dr. Leyds, the Commando Choir sang 
the song " Malaboch," and the proceedings shortly 
after terminated. 

I then availed myself of the Bishop's kind invita- 
tion by proceeding to Bishop's Cote. After dinner 
bis Lordship and Mrs. Bousfield accompanied me to 
Burger's Park, where a promenade concert was given 
in honour of the returned warriors; the music was 
discoursed by the volunteer band, but we only stayed 
a short time, and I retired early, having spent a 
pWnt, though very tiring ar,d trytag day 


( 206 ) 



The next day the Rustenburgers arrived at Wonder- 
boom with their prisoner and his Mowers, and there 
awaited instructions. I was driven out from Pretoria 
with Canon Fisher and Lieutenant Holzer, and, on 
our arrival, we saw a number of natives (I think 
about one hundred and fifty men) squatting on the 
ground, but the absence of young men was very 
noticeable. Malaboch and his indunas were secured 
in a wagon. I climbed on to the Voorkist and asked 
him if he were really Malaboch, and where all his 
fighting men were, as nearly all our prisoners were 
decrepit old men. Whereupon he said that his 
nephew was with the prisoners and would tell me all 
about it, as he could speak English well. I soon 
found his nephew, who assured me that the prisoner 
in the wagon was his Uncle Malaboch, and the young 
men were those I saw around me. This last piece of 
information was simply prevaricating. I think there 
can be no doubt that the young men had made good 







their escape. The Chiefs lips still bore signs of his 
recent burns caused by falling in the fire on the top 
of the mountain, just after his surrender. 

We returned in time to see them brought in. The 
burghers rode to the Raadzaal, where the President 
awaited them, and, standing on the steps, Hi** 
Honour asked the Commandant whether the prisoner 
he had brought in was the rebel Chief Malaboch, and 
being satisfied with his reply, congratulated the 
burghers on their success, and then ordered the 
removal of the prisoners to the State gaol, where the 
Chief still remains. 

I remained the guest of the Bishop and Mrs. 
Bousfield until the 22nd August, Mrs. Bousfield, 
with great consideration, allowing me to make my 
own arrangements for spending my time. The week, 
which would have been one of the pleasantest I have 
spent in South Africa, was saddened by the deaths 
of the Rev. Father Douglas, Dr. F. B. Tobias, and 
Mr. John Meyer. 

The Bishop left to-day (August 16th) on a visit to 
Boksburg. The time between this and Sunday passed 
very rapidly. 

As the late warriors promenaded the streets, quite 
a metamorphosis was observed in their general appear- 
ance ; razors had been used and store-clothes donned. 
The change is well represented in the accompanying 
engraving, from a photograph by Mr. Reginald Shep- 
herd, of Pretoria, where two of my comrades-in-arms 
are shown in their war-paint, the others being in the 
garb of town-life. 



On Sunday morning, the 19th August, while on 
my way to the Cathedral, I was informed for the first 
time of the death of Dr. F. B. Tobias by Mr. Meyn- 
hardt, one of the late doctor's messmates. 

I was shocked and unnerved at this sad news. It 
appeared that the night previous, Dr. Tobias, while 
dining with his bosom friend, Dr. Mader, complained 
of insomnia. Morphia was hypodermically injected 
before he retired, and on his boy entering the room 
with coffee the next morning, he found the doctor 
to be dead, with his faithful dog alongside him on 
the bed. 

The cause of death was conjestion of the brain. 
On the news becoming known, the town was thrown 
into profound grief, great sorrow being expressed by 
his friends, especially those of the legal profession. 

The funeral took place the next day at 3.30 p.m., 
and was attended by his late comrades, under com- 
mand of Lieutenant Schroeder. 

All the men wore their campaign uniform, and 
marched to the residence of the deceased, and from 
thence to the cemetery. His former messmates bore 
the coffin from the entrance of the cemetery to the 
grave. Members of the bar and side-bar were present 
in large numbers, as were also Dr. Leyds, State Secre- 
tary, Mr. Ewald Esselen, State Attorney, Chief Justice 
Kotz£, Judges Jorrisen, Korte, and Morice, Advocates 
Leonard, Cloete, Coster, and Kleyn. 

Addresses were delivered at the graveside by the 
Rev. Van Belkum, of the Dutch Reformed Church, 
and myself. 


The deceased was forty-three years of age, and was 
born at Probolengo, East Indies. 

On my return from the cemetery, Mr. Sam Jones, 
of the Union Club, informed me of the death of 
Mr. John Meyer, of the Press Editorial Staff, 
from whom I had parted only two days before, he 
being then apparently in good health. Mr. Jones 
had been most assiduous in attending to the wants 
of the dying man, and at the doctor's suggestion, 
Mr. Meyer was removed from the Union Club to the 
Pretoria Hospital, only two hours before his death. 
In spite of appearances to the contrary, Mr. Meyer 
had enjoyed but indifferent health for some time past 

He was born at Woodstock, near Cape Town, and 
was only thirty-seven years of age. The funeral took 
place in Pretoria on Tuesday, the 21st August, the 
service of the English Church being conducted by the 
Rev. J. W. Llewelyn and myself. 

Returning to Bishop's Cote, I heard from Mrs. 
Bousfield of the death of the Rev. Father Douglas, 
the Superior of St. Augustine's Brotherhood at 
Modderpoort, in the Orange Free State. I have most 
pleasant recollections of this community, having 
stayed there for a few days while on my way to 
Basutoland in 1890 ; and, on my return to the 
diamond fields early the following year, I spent a 
very happy month there. I can never forget the 
kind Father, whose health, even then, was failing 
him. His happy face, cheery voice, and kindly dis- 
position endeared him to all with whom he came 
into contact. To know him was to love him. He 

DR. W. J. LEVI*", 

> * « 

1 1 



was universally popular, not only in his immediate 
surroundings, but throughout the whole of South 
Africa. The great secret of this lay in his utterly 
unselfish nature and thorough spirituality ; he had but 
one motive in life, and that was to bring souls to the 
knowledge of God. His keen perception and tact, in 
conjunction with a beautiful sympathy in dealing with 
the souls of men, well fitted him for his high calling. 

The influence of such a devoted life of self-sacrifice 
has been, and is still, widely felt. Well may it be 
said of this departed servant of God — "He being 
dead, yet speaketh." 

Through the courtesy of the Rev. Father Carmichael 
I am able to give the following interesting account of 
St. Augustine's : — 

The inception of St. Augustine's Brotherhood was 
due to the first Bishop of Bloemfontein (Dr. Twells), 
who, from his admiration of what he saw of collegiate 
and religious life at Cambridge, and from reading, 
formed ideas as to a missionary Brotherhood for his 
diocese. In 1865, he wrote a letter of extraordinary 
power to his friends in England suggesting such a 
thing. In 1866, Canon Beckett, of Cumbrae, and 
Curate of Elford, was found to head the movement. 

He published a letter appealing for men and means 
early in 1867, and went to Oxford and elsewhere, 
and obtained men, and promises from more to follow. 
He sailed on Ascension Day, 1867; met Bishop Twells 
at Algoa Bay, July 13th, on his way home to the 
Pan- Anglican Conference. 

The Brotherhood travelled by wagon from Port 


Elizabeth to Bloemfontein, where Dean Croghan met 
them. The Bishop, in 1866, bought two farms in 
the conquered territory for his " Brotherhood," and 
had laid a foundation-stone there February 2nd, 
1867. The war with the Basutos breaking out a 
second time, prevented the Brotherhood from occu- 
pying them at once ; so they settled for nearly a year 
at Springfield, a farm eight miles from Bloemfontein, 
and on the road to Thaba Nchu. Thence they moved 
to Thaba Nchu in 1868, and, while there, built a 
church and mission-house. One of the Brotherhood 
party (Terry) was a builder. In April, 1869, they 
reached Modderpoort, where they first lived in a cave 
and huts built about it. Services and school were 
held in the cave. 

In 1868, Bishop Twells again left England, and 
brought a few more recruits for the party (one was 
Canon Doxat, now in the Corea). In 1869, some 
more recruits came, headed by Canon Bevan, and 
they began a Dutch, Sesuto, and European work, 
which has gone on ever since. The church was built 
and consecrated on St. Paul's Day, 1872. 

A house and beautiful gardens were laid out and a 
native school built All this was at Modderpoort. 
Through the Brotherhood, churches were also built at 
Ladybrand, six miles from Modderpoort; at Ficksburg, 
thirty miles away; and at Clocolan, a distance of 
eighteen miles. 

A native school and work were also established in 
Ladybrand. Many of the early members of the 
Brotherhood undertook works in other parts of the 

[Ji fart yagt %. 

V ' 

I . 

• I 

■ 1 

J i 




diocese, the Diamond Fields, Phillipolis, Fauresmith, 
and Thaba Nchu ; others are now working in other 
dioceses in South Africa. The longest to remain of 
the original number at Modderpcort was Brother 
John (Rev. J. E. Williams), who, being one of the 
original party, remained till 1879. The Rev. Father 
Douglas was asked by Bishop Webb in 1878 to relieve 
Canon Beckett, whose age was then fifty-nine. This 
he did, and reached Modderpoort in 1 April, 1879. He at 
once threw himself into all Canon Beckett's itinerating 
work, and drew more members to the community, and 
put it more definitely on the basis of the " Religious 
Life." When he died, August 19th, 1894, full of 
labours, and having drawn the affections of the whole 
neighbourhood, he left the Brotherhood and its works 
in a way in which it could continue to develop. 
Father Sanderson was elected Superior in his place, 
and it now numbers two priest brethren and two lay 
brethren. But though few out of the many who 
have stayed and lived in the Brotherhood home have 
found their vocation in it, many have found a vocation 
through it, and are doing good works in South Africa 
or elsewhere, and so have profited by its existence. 

Canon Beckett died February 22nd, 1885, and is 
buried at Modderpoort. 

Father Douglas was best known in England, before 
he came to South Africa, as a great mission preacher 
and ardent lover of souls and worker for them. He 
was Canon Body's curate at Kirby Misperton, and 
then (1875-8) a member of the Stoke-upon-Terne 
Brotherhood in the Lichfield diocese. 

p 2 


: i 


i ' I 


' J 








was universally popular, not only in his immediate 
surroundings, but throughout the whole of South 
Africa. The great secret of this lay in his utterly 
unselfish nature and thorough spirituality ; he had but 
one motive in life, and that was to bring souls to the 
knowledge of God. His keen perception and tact, in 
conjunction with a beautiful sympathy in dealing with 
the souls of men, well fitted him for his high calling. 

The influence of such a devoted life of self-sacrifice 
has been, and is still, widely felt. Well may it be 
said of this departed servant of God — "He being 
dead, yet speaketh." 

Through the courtesy of the Eev. Father Carmichael 
I am able to give the following interesting account of 
St. Augustine's : — 

The inception of St. Augustine's Brotherhood was 
due to the first Bishop of Bloemfontein (Dr. Twells), 
who, from his admiration of what he saw of collegiate 
and religious life at Cambridge, and from reading, 
formed ideas as to a missionary Brotherhood for his 
diocese. In 1865, he wrote a letter of extraordinary 
power to his friends in England suggesting such a 
thing. In 1866, Canon Beckett, of Cumbrae, and 
Curate of Elford, was found to head the movement. 

He published a letter appealing for men and means 
early in 1867, and went to Oxford and elsewhere, 
and obtained men, and promises from more to follow. 
He sailed on Ascension Day, 1867; met Bishop Twells 
at Algoa Bay, July 13th, on his way home to the 
Pan- Anglican Conference. 

The Brotherhood travelled by wagon from Port 


Elizabeth to Bloemfontein, where Dean Croghan met 
them. The Bishop, in 1866, bought two farms in 
the conquered territory for his " Brotherhood," and 
had laid a foundation-stone there February 2nd, 
1867. The war with the Basutos breaking out a 
second time, prevented the Brotherhood from occu- 
pying them at once ; so they settled for nearly a year 
at Springfield, a farm eight miles from Bloemfontein, 
and on the road to Thaba Nchu. Thence they moved 
to Thaba Nchu in 1868, and, while there, built a 
church and mission-house. One of the Brotherhood 
party (Terry) was a builder. In April, 1869, they 
reached Modderpoort, where they first lived in a cave 
and huts built about it. Services and school were 
held in the cave. 

In 1868, Bishop T wells again left England, and 
brought a few more recruits for the party (one was 
Canon Doxat, now in the Corea). In 1869, some 
more recruits came, headed by Canon Bevan, and 
they began a Dutch, Sesuto, and European work, 
which has gone on ever since. The church was built 
and consecrated on St. Paul's Day, 1872. 

A house and beautiful gardens were laid out and a 
native school built All this was at Modderpoort. 
Through the Brotherhood, churches were also built at 
Ladybrand, six miles from Modderpoort ; at Ficksburg, 
thirty miles away; and at Clocolan, a distance of 
eighteen miles. 

A native school and work were also established in 
Ladybrand. Many of the early members of the 
Brotherhood undertook works in other parts of the 


, i 

v : 

i I 

1 l 

• I. 


i I 


diocese, the Diamond Fields, Phillipolis, Fauresmitli, 
and Thaba Nchu ; others are now working in other 
dioceses in South Africa. The longest to remain of 
the original number at Modderpcort was Brother 
John (Rev. J. E. Williams), who, being one of the 
original party, remained till 1879. The Rev. Father 
Douglas was asked by Bishop Webb in 1878 to relieve 
Canon Beckett, whose age was then fifty-nine. This 
he did, and reached Modderpoort in! April, 1879. He at 
once threw himself into all Canon Beckett's itinerating 
work, and drew more members to the community, and 
put it more definitely on the basis of the " Religious 
Life." When he died, August 19th, 1894, full of 
labours, and having drawn the affections of the whole 
neighbourhood, he left the Brotherhood and its works 
in a way in which it could continue to develop. 
Father Sanderson was elected Superior in his place, 
and it now numbers two priest brethren and two lay 
brethren. But though few out of the many who 
have stayed and lived in the Brotherhood home have 
found their vocation in it, many have found a vocation 
through it, and are doing good works in South Africa 
or elsewhere, and so have profited by its existence. 

Canon Beckett died February 22nd, 1885, and is 
buried at Modderpoort. 

Father Douglas was best known in England, before 
he came to South Africa, as a great mission preacher 
and ardent lover of souls and worker for them. He 
was Canon Body's curate at Kirby Misperton, and 
then (1875-8) a member of the Stoke-upon-Terne 
Brotherhood in the Lichfield diocese. 

P 2 


By the afore-mentioned deaths of three of my 
friends, the kind Bishop's desire to give me a week's 
pleasure and relaxation before undertaking my duties 
at Roodepoort was sadly frustrated. 

I left Pretoria on Wednesday the 22nd August, as 
the Bishop had arranged for me to meet him at 
Johannesburg Station that day. 

Arriving there, I found his Lordship awaiting me, 
and we then proceeded by the same train to 

While on our way from the Roodepoort Station to 
call on Mr. George Alfred Goodwin, manager of the 
United Main Reef Gold Mining Company, the Bishop 
suddenly stood still, and, raising his hat, an example 
which I followed, offered a short prayer that the 
work there might be accepted and blessed. 

On reaching Mr. Goodwin's house we were kindly 
received and entertained by the late Mrs. Goodwin, 
We then visited the Assembly Hall, where the services 
were held (lent for this purpose by the trustees) ; and 
after calling on Mrs. Saunderson, who provided us 
with luncheon, we retraced our steps to the railway 
station. I had some difficulty in finding suitable 
apartments, and this much concerned the Bishop. 
Eventually, through the kindness of Mr. Goodwin, I 
was accommodated with a room at the Company's 
staff quarters. 

My stay in Roodepoort was but for a few months ; 
during that short time, however, I made many friends, 
amongst whom I wish to especially mention Mr. and 
Mrs. Goodwin, Mr. and Mrs. Skinner, Messrs. F. 




: I 




! I 












Eunchman and A. Alston (with whom I lived), 
Malcolms on, Buckland, M. Wilson, 6. Bottomley and 
G. Mason (the two latter, I regret to say, are since 
deceased), Miss Mason (now Mrs. Adcock), Messrs. 
Nethersole, Parker, Balfour, and Bradley, Mr. and 
Mrs. George North (Mrs. North with her two children 
were killed in the railway accident mentioned in the 
Appendix), the Misses Borke (now Mrs. Balfour and 
Mrs. Bradley), Mr. and Mrs. Penny, Mr., Mrs., and 
Miss Noble, Mr. W. Dixon, Mrs. Peacock, Misses 
McMaster, Mr. and Mrs. Atherstone, and Miss 

My sphere of work included the suburb of Marais- 
burg, about four miles from Boodepoort, where I held 
service on Sunday morning, as well as devoting one 
day every week to visiting. I was encouraged in my 
work here by the kindness of the people generally, 
and was much interested in the work of the school, 
conducted by Miss Gertie Smith and her able 
assistant Miss Lizzie Malan. 

The following much appreciated my work amongst 
them, and did all in their power to help it forward : 
Dr. W. P. Johnstone, Mr. and Mrs. Hellman, Mr. and 
Mrs. Steele, Mr. and Mrs. Malan and family, Mr. and 
Mrs. McKechnie, Mr. and Mrs. F. Smith, Mr. and 
Mrs. W. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Secretan, Miss Gertie 
Smith, Miss Lizzie Malan (who acted as organist 
and performed her honorary duties most faith- 
fully), Miss Ilva Frames (now Mrs. Steil), and 
Mr. Hall. 

During my stay here I received the following 


flattering letter from Mr. Attorney Bice (late Acting 
Veld-Cornet during the Malaboch campaign) : — 

PbHtoria, 14th September, 1894. 

Drab Mb. Rae, — Could you make it convenient to run over 
to Pretoria some day next week to give as an opportunity of 
presenting you with a souvenir and a purse, subscribed for by 
numerous friends, admirers, and comrades, as a slight recognition 
of your services during the Malaboch campaign. 

Kindly let me know by return post. Yours truly, 

C. G. Rick. 

This presentation was made in the presence of 
many of my old comrades by Dr. Leyds, State 
Secretary, at the Transvaal Hotel, and consisted of 
a gold hunter watch, with monogram engraved on 
the cover and an inscription inside, and a purse 
of sovereigns. This evidence of good-fellowship is 
greatly prized by me. 

Mr. Ewald Esselen, State Attorney, who was 
unable to be present, excused his absence in a letter 
to Mr. Rice. 

After leaving Roodepoort I was the guest of 
Dr. Johnstone, Mrs. Johnstone being in England at 
the time. From there I came to Pilgrim's Rest, in 
the district of Lydenburg. 





Aapie$ . 
Beeher . 

Boer meal 
Boy . 


Commandeered . 

Dappers . 

Drift . . . 

Euphorbia . 

Hoofdstad . 

Insangu . . 


Kafir corn ; millet. 

Tin pannikin (about | lb. measure). 


Blue mountain. 

Cornflour not dressed. 

Native men in South Africa are usually 
designated " boys." 



Strictly speaking, men on active service, but 
now generally applied to enfranchised 

Drinking vessel made from a pumpkin. 

The law of conscription in the Transvaal. 
British subjects and civil servants are per- 
sonally exempt, but not their goods. 

Members of a religious sect, the Ana-Baptists. 
The word "dopper" is probably derived 
from the old Dutch "dorper," a name 
contemptuously applied during the Middle 
Ages to residents in Dutch towns. 


A poisonous plant abounding in acrid milk. 

Irregular ; troops not disciplined. 

Literally, " chief city." Generally applied to 
residences or capitals of native chiefs. 

Wild hemp; smoked by the native* as a 









Kloof . 

. Cleft, chasm, ravine. 


Literally, "swollen noses." The appellation 

of a native tribe in Zoutpansberg. 


. Mound, hillock. 


. Literally, sheep or cattle-pen; also a term 

generally applied to native villages in 

South Africa. 

Krantz . 

. Precipice. 


. Council of "War. 

Land en Volk . Land and people. 


. Magistrate. 

Loot . 

. Literally, "lottery"; cattle, etc., taken in 

war ; the spoil. 




. . (Dutch " mud ") ; a bag holding about 200 lbs. 

of grain. 

Mealies . 

Indian corn ; maize. 

Nek . 

. Mountain pass. 


Literally, "Nile Stream." The name of a 

village and river in Waterberg. "Nijl" 

signifies Nile, and " stroom " stream. 


. Clergyman or preacher. 


. Literally, "council chamber"; applied to 

the legislative halls. 


Homey-backed lizard. 

Scherm . 

Screen or fence made of bush interwoven, 

The word is also applied to anything con- 

structed as a protection against wind or 



. Team. 


. Rivulet. 

Tickey . 

. Threepenny-piece. 

Trek. . 

. . To pull. 


. Outlander ; a foreigner. 

Utyala . , 

. Kafir beer made from amabele. 


A Government official who has charge of a 

ward, and, in time of war, ranks as 



. Literally, the " four colours " ; applied to the 

Transvaal flag. 


• ' 

\ l> 





VoUMed . 
Volksraad . 


Voorlooper . 

The Transvaal National Anthem. 

Literally, the "People's Council," the Par- 
liament of the Transvaal. 

Literally, " front box." Boer wagons generally 
have boxes in front which serve as reposi- 
tories for odds and ends and seats for 

Literally, "front walker"; applied to boys 
who lead bullock teams. 







1 ! 





The Johannesburg Crisis. 

The first news of this now historical event reached Pilgrim's 
Best, a busy little gold-mining camp situated near the 
eastern boundary of the Transvaal and about two hundred 
miles from Pretoria, on the evening of the 31st December, 
1895. Startling rumours soon spread through the camp to 
the effect that Dr. Jameson, Administrator of Bhodesia, with 
eight hundred of the Charterland troops, fully armed with 
Maxims, field pieces, and Lee-Metford rifles, had actually 
crossed the western border of the Transvaal, and were to 
meet the burghers, two thousand strong, in an open en- 
counter near Krugersdorp at ten the next morning. The 
telegraph office was kept open all night in consequence. 
Suppressed excitement prevailed, and Mr. Willis, tele- 
graphist in temporary charge, was kept busy, but with 
Government messages only, the use of the wire being 
debarred from the general public. The night was pitch 
dark, and I was sitting in my room working at my manu- 
script, assisted by Mr. Dan Matthews. Whilst we were 
thus engaged, our attention was suddenly drawn to the 
blowing of a bugle. The various calls were blown in such 
a manner that we concluded the blower was no expert in 
that line. At first we thought that a " krijsraad " was being 
summoned by the Mining Commissioner, Mr. J. S. Joubert, but 
after we had heard the " Volkslied " followed immediately 



by " God save the Queen," our minds were set at rest, and 
we once more resumed our work. We adjourned to the 
church at 11 p.m., where I held a midnight service; the 
church was filled to overflowing. On returning home a little 
after twelve the cornet was still going, but the notes were so 
thick and indistinct as to cause Dan Matthews to remark 
that the musician must have blown a quantity of whisky 
into the instrument, as he was struggling to get a tune out 
of it, but could not. 

The next day telegrams of a contradictory nature were 
coming at short intervals. First we heard that Jameson had 
marched into Johannesburg unmolested, afterwards that he 
had been repulsed at Krugersdorp with heavy loss. We 
could get at nothing definite, the telegraph being still ex- 
clusively monopolised by Government. With regard to 
myself, I kept an open mind, and, partly to ascertain the 
truth of things, I left for Pretoria next morning at six o'clock 
by the coach. As showing the bitter race feeling evoked by 
the events of the last two days, I may mention that, at 
Kruger's Post, where we changed mules, I overheard a 
conversation between two burghers who were proceeding 
to the front. "I should like to meet twenty thousand 
'Rooineks* with ten thousand Boers," said Burgher No. 1. 
" Oh, no ! " replied No. 2, " you don't want so many as that ; 
five thousand would be enough." " Yes," said No. 1 ; " five 
thousand would do ; and we would teach them a lesson that 
would quiet them for ever." Proceeding on our way, we 
met a boy of about fifteen or so ; the driver, Mr. du Plessis, 
stopped the coach to ask him " What news ? " I could not 
understand all his reply, but a part of it w$s translated to 
me to this effect : " Our fathers fought the ' Booineks/ and 
their sons will fight them now." 

On reaching Lydenburg (about thirty-seven miles from 
Pilgrim's Best) I found the place in a state of great commo- 
tion. Commandeering of horses and men had been briskly 


iH lit (* 

" s 

1 = 




going on, and the crisis was the general topic of conversation. 
Here, too, the telegraphic intelligence (or that part of it 
which the officials allowed the public to know) was un- 
reliable, as the following quotations from my notes taken 
down at the time will show : — "Commandant Malan has met 
Jameson at Bustenburg, and taken all prisoners: four 
Maxims, one thousand rifles, and nine wagons of ammunition 
captured." Again, "England having offered the South 
African Bepublic help, it is reported that Jameson has 
surrendered." Another, "Lieutenant Scott and Trooper 
Dreyer reported wounded ; the former's leg amputated ; two 
Boers wounded." Further, "Lieutenant-Colonel Wollaston, 
who went out to meet and assist Jameson, is reported 
wounded, as also Sir John Willoughby; both lying in 
Kmgersdorp Hospital." With regard to Colonel Wollaston 
going out to assist Jameson, there was no foundation what- 
ever for the rumour. The gallant Colonel assured me, at an 
interview I had with him in Johannesburg, that the first 
intimation he had of the Uitlanders rising was his being 
called upon to find fifty men to protect life and property in 
Johannesburg, these men to do only police duty. I was 
advised in Lydenburg to obtain a passport from Government 
to secure me from molestation on my journey. This I 
accordingly did, the necessary document being provided by 
Mr. David Schoeman, Veld-Cornet So bitter was the race 

feeling that Mr. was struck in the face, on his entering 

the club at Lydenburg, by a Boer, without any provocation 

being offered. Mr. , on the urgent advice of friends, did 

not retaliate. The commandeered burghers, some of whom I 
recognised as comrades in the late Malaboch campaign, were 
busy at the Landdrost's Court getting a supply of ammuni- 
tion. The scene reminded me of that at Mr. Melt Marais' 
office in Pretoria, described at the beginning of this book 
but on a much smaller scale. There were about fifty men 
commandeered from the town, and these were to join the 


I experienced, as I always have, the greatest kindness 
from the Bishop and Mrs. Bousfield during my stay at 
Bishop's Cote. 

On Tuesday, the 14th January, I left Pretoria for Johannes- 
burg, and was accompanied by the Bev. B. J. P. Dunbar, 
who had also been a guest at Bishop's Cote. 

We were driven to the railway station by the Bishop in 
his Lordship's carriage. My luggage was searched there 
to see that I was taking no arms or ammunition to the 
Band, which was still in a state of ferment. I put up at 
Long's Hotel in Johannesburg, and I am indebted to Mr. and 
Mrs. Long, the worthy host and hostess, for much comfort 
during an exceptionally trying time. 

Through the courtesy of the Bev. J. H. Williams, priest 
in charge of the mission at Boodepoort and Maraisburg, 
I had the privilege of conducting divine service at the latter 
place, where I renewed the acquaintance of many Mends. 
I was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Hellman, from whom I 
received much kindness during my ministry there in 1894. 
On Tuesday, January 21st, I visited the battlefield near 
Doornkop, about five miles from Maraisburg, being driven 
thither by Mr. Hellman, in company with Mr. John Muusse 
and Mr. Hellman's little son Max, who rode his favourite 
pony " Tom." We passed through Hamburg, turning off by 
Mr. Clarke's store and through the properties of the Kimberley- 
Boodepoort and the Ida Gold-Mining Companies. 

We observed, en route, on a board exhibited outside an 
hotel, a strange sign, thus : " Bandevoux Hotel," and could 
not understand the idea of such a sign, except that the pro- 
prietor may have been anxious to display his ignorance of la 
langue Franchise, or advertise his aptitude for making puns. 

Mr. Muusse informed me that the battle was fought near 
Brink's Farm, Vlakfontein, close to the Doornkop Boundary, 
but not actually at Doornkop. He and Mr. Edwards, of 
Maraisburg, arrived on the scene just at the close of the 


i I 



Robinson, Governor of Cape Colony, was expected to arrive 
at Pretoria for the purpose of mediating between the Uit- 
landers and the Boers. After dining at the hotel, I went up 
to the station in company with Mr. Bruce, who was on his 
way from the Clewer Estate to the Langlaagte Royal Gold- 
Mining Company, near Johannesburg. I reached Pretoria 
at seven the next morning, and, contrary to my expectations, 
found the railway station very quiet. The commandeered 
burghers who had come up in the same train at once 
mounted their horses and rode off. 

I here received confirmation of the rumour anent Dr. 
Jameson's surrender. The prisoners were camped, closely 
guarded, on the racecourse, with the exception of Dr. Jame- 
son, who was in the State prison, nobody being allowed to 
see him. The streets of Pretoria were being patrolled by 
armed men, in knots of twos and threes. From the railway 
station I went, at the invitation of the Bishop, to Bishop's Cote, 
the episcopal residence, where I had before been a guest on 
my return from the Malaboch expedition ; during my stay 
there, the members of the Johannesburg Eeform Committee, 
having surrendered to the Government in order to save the 
lives of Jameson and his men, were arrested by the Civil 
power and lodged in Pretoria Gaol. 

On the evening of January 4th, the High Commissioner for 
South Africa, Sir Hercules Robinson (the late Lord Rosmead), 
arrived at Pretoria from Capetown. Although the streets were 
full of people, there was nothing of the nature of a popular 
demonstration in honour of his Excellency's arrival. An 
escort of the State Artillery rode close (very close) to his 
carriage in solemn silence, and I overheard a bystander 
remark that the procession was more like that of a funeral 
than anything else. 

On arrival of the cavalcade at the Transvaal Hotel in 
Pretorius Street, a cheer was raised — a very half-hearted one 
—and it fell rather flat 


I experienced, as I always have, the greatest kindness 
from the Bishop and Mrs. Bousfield during my stay at 
Bishop's Cote. 

On Tuesday, the 14th January, I left Pretoria for Johannes- 
burg, and was accompanied by the Bev. B. J. P. Dunbar, 
who had also been a guest at Bishop's Cote. 

We were driven to the railway station by the Bishop in 
his Lordship's carriage. My luggage was searched there 
to see that I was taking no arms or ammunition to the 
Band, which was still in a state of ferment. I put up at 
Long's Hotel in Johannesburg, and I am indebted to Mr. and 
Mrs. Long, the worthy host and hostess, for much comfort 
during an exceptionally trying time. 

Through the courtesy of the Bev. J. H. Williams, priest 
in charge of the mission at Boodepoort and Maraisbuig, 
I had the privilege of conducting divine service at the latter 
place, where I renewed the acquaintance of many friends. 
I was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Hellman, from whom I 
received much kindness during my ministry there in 1894. 
On Tuesday, January 21st, I visited the battlefield near 
Doornkop, about five miles from Maraisburg, being driven 
thither by Mr. Hellman, in company with Mr. John Muusse 
and Mr. Hellman's little son Max, who rode his favourite 
pony " Tom." We passed through Hamburg, turning off by 
Mr. Clarke's store and through the properties of the Kimberley- 
Boodepoort and the Ida Gold-Mining Companies. 

We observed, en route, on a board exhibited outside an 
hotel, a strange sign, thus : " Bandevoux Hotel," and could 
not understand the idea of such a sign, except that the pro- 
prietor may have been anxious to display his ignorance of la 
languc Fran^aise, or advertise his aptitude for making puns. 

Mr. Muusse informed me that the battle was fought near 
Brink's Farm, Ylakfontein, close to the Doornkop Boundary, 
but not actually at Doornkop. He and Mr. Edwards, of 
Maraisburg, arrived on the scene just at the close of the 



< I < 



i! 4 


battle, whilst the white flags were still flying, and he saw 
only three dead troopers. It was, he said, a ghastly sight ; 
and on his asking some of the wounded how they fared, the 
reply was that they were having every necessary attention. 
He also saw eight dead horses within a radius of about ten 
yards, and two dead mules close to Brink's homestead. 
(The bodies of the horses and mules were still there on the 
occasion of our visit.) A policeman of Florida, named 
Swanepoel, who met Muusse, told him that one of the 
Dutchmen was so overjoyed at the result of the battle that 
he appeared to lose his self-control, and danced about to 
such an extent that his gun went off, killing him on 
the spot 

The Battle of Dooknkop. 

The following account of the battle — the last great struggle, 
vi et armis, between the two white races of South Africa — 
I take from the Pretoria Press of Thursday, 4th January. 

" It would seem that on Monday (1st January, 1896) a strong body of 
the Chartered Company's troops crossed the Transvaal border and passed 
through Malmani, swerving to the right to keep such a direction as to be 
able to strike the high road between Blaauw Bank and Johannesburg, at 
a spot in the neighbourhood of Krugersdorp. It may be said that, during 
the march, due military preparations were taken against surprise ; and in 
order to leave the rugged tract of country to the left the troops took their 
way over the undulating uplands, Dr. Jameson in person commanding the 
columns, assisted by Sir John Willoughby, Major Gray, and other 
officers. The Burgher forces were supposed to be intrenched among the 
Coomby ridges near Bietspruit. The troops were marching in double 
column with flanking parties, advance and rear guards. 

Kruger$dorp, 2.50 p.m. — Almost at this moment I (war correspondent) 
caught sight of them, surveying them from the rise; dense bodies of 
Burghers riding in open order loomed up on the ridges away to the left 
front, and the whole of the contending forces were brought up within 
Martini distance of each other. The sudden appearanoe of the Burghers 
was evidently no surprise to the troopers, who riucktty though venturously 
marched on, through the open valley, commanded on each* side and in 


front by rocky ridges. At 4 P.M., the troopers opened fire upon the 
position of the Burghers, apparently intending to presently carry the 
position by storm. Commandant H. Malan meanwhile with his division, 
supported by contingents of the Pretoria District Burghers under Veld- 
Cornets Glas and Boos, numbering about five hundred, had occupied and 
strongly intrenched themselves within the confines of the Otto Battery. 
His position was well chosen. Presently the Maxims opened fire, 
followed by Gardners, their shrapnel fire being a very bad one. However, 
plunging into the position, they threw up myriads of small stones, 
thereby wounding one Botha, of the Krugersdorp Division. About thirty 
of the British South African troops charged at the same time the back of 
the column, halting on the crest of the ridge on our left front, where they 
were checked. Seven fell, five wounded and two killed. The wounded 
troopers were F. Dreyer, J. Maclaughlan, F. Mostyn, B. MacCrackam, 
and M. Den. The Burghers wounded were (of the Potchefstroom 
Contingent) Klas Cronje, seriously; (Krugersdorp Contingent) Botha, 

Again the little handful of troopers charged, but the horses were seen 
to fall, and men to topple from their saddles, the unerring rifle aim of the 
Boer being too much for the advancing column. Most of the dismounted 
troopers took flight, throwing their arms away, and that which had 
shown a brave front before became a fugitive crowd. Desultory fire on 
both sides then ensued, and I did not fail to observe that the day had 
been decidedly in favour of the Boers. The following are the names of 
the B.S.A. officers and troopers who were captured and handed over to 
the Landdrost that evening : Captain Charles Frederic Lindsell, Lieutenant 
Henry Farquhar Scott* Dr. William Henry Farmer; John Hall Hill, 
George John Wethorell, Richard Barry Jupp, Philip Lancelot Rolleston, 
Simon Gettiffe, Percy Solomon, Percy Charles Stevenson, Charles 
McGowan, John Calderwood, Edwin Abbott, George White, Edward 
Mansfield, Edward Rogers, Lowen Ernest Mageen, Benjamin William 
Webb, Henry Collins, Bell, Joseph George King. 

The rest of the invading troops then retreated towards Randfontein. 

Krugersdorp, Thursday, 10 a.m. — The attack on Krugersdorp having 
been repelled in the night, the troops retired on Randfontein, an hour 
(about six miles) to the south of Krugersdorp, and there remained. This, 
it would seem, was a measure which Sir John Willoughby had good 
reason to follow, for his pressing need of food and reinforcements made it 
vital for him to push on rapidly, so as to reach Johannesburg at an early 
hour this morning. Commandants Malan, Trichardt, and Potgieter left 
for Randfontein, taking with them about 1500 men. Again the column 
marched forward, but near Prinsloo's farm the Burgher forces made a 
determined stand, killing one trooper, besides capturing a Maxim gun and 
an ammunition wagon, with fifteen cases of ammunition. Our (Dutch) 


losses were two killed throughout the running skirmish; the troopers, 
however, suffered severely ; as the fight developed, horses and men fell 
frequently. On riding over the ground subsequently by the line of march 
the sight was really sickening. Strong men lay low ; here a cheek had 
been pierced by a bullet, there a man had fallen to the ground with 
outstretched arms and glassy eye, soon to lie silent for ever. Still 
pursuing the line of march, the now famous farm of Hendrik Brink was 
reached, where the troopers at once established themselves. The flanking 
heights were immediately occupied by Burghers, and a cordon of armed 
men was drawn around the plucky though misguided band. 

While this was being done Captain Erasmus and a detachment of the 
State Artillery arrived, and took up a strong position on a kopje to the 
north of the farm, from whence he proceeded to shell the farmhouse out- 
buildings with four Krupp guns, besides sending in an occasional Maxim 
fusilade. To this no reply was given. It was a sign of import, for 
cannon fire was scarcely developed when flags of truce were displayed, 
and by 11 a.m. Dr. Jameson and his officers, among whom were Sir John 
Willoughby, Captain Munro, Lieutenants Mageen, Wood, and Hoare, and 
the whole of the Malmani column, consisting of about five hundred men 
with eight Maxims, two Gardners, and five to six hundred rifles, revolvers, 
etc., had surrendered to Commandants H. Malan and P. Cronje." 

The casualties were as follows : — 

Official List. 

British South Africa Company. Killed: Captain Barry (died in 
hospital); Corporals Beard and Maree; Troopers Lamb, Shippard, Still, 
Coghill, Black, Forster, Myers, Betsoe, Edwards, Fraser, Wud (died in 
hospital), Hutchinson, Stone, Reeland, Hennesy. Wounded: Captain 
C. J. Coventry; Sergeants B. McCracken, E. G. Barnes; Corporals 
F. Dreyer, D. Fraser, S. Burrows; Troopers William McLaughlan, 
F. Mostyn, M. Den, F. M. Brooke, G. McVetty, F. Stannard, G. Pomeroy, 
H. A. Callenan, G. A. Palmer, A. M. Rowlley, T. 11. Lynn, D. M. Fyvie, 
L. H. Stapleton, G. Potter, G. R. Payne, H. C. Gibbs, H. Marchant, 
S. Bruce, F. Nickson, E. A. Berry, H. Bcadon, G. Wilson, B. R. Philbrick, 
F. W. Brown, F. A. Hays, Kolonel Grey, G. B. Lamb, Cazalet, Lennard 

Burgher forces. Killed : S. van Tonder (accident by Boers), A. Potgieter 
(accident by Boers), P. P. Venter, G. Jacobs, D. McDonald. Wounded : 
Klas Cronje, B. van der Berg, Philip van der Walt, C. P. Roos (sick), 
Van der Merwe, D. Strijdom, O'Grady, P. Bczuidenhout (accident). 

So ended the battle of Doornkop ; the result (unhappy or 
otherwise, according to the reader's political opinions) was 

Q 2 



page 246; the feathers shown are some that fell from the 
many vultures just mentioned, 

Scholtz's vocabulary was simply inexhaustible; among 
other yarns, he told us that nine Boers advanced from the 
main body of the burghers and utterly routed Jameson's 
column; after this, "Thermopylae" must take a back seat, 
though this last bit of information was not volunteered by 
Scholtz. Mr. Muusse pointed out to us the place where a 
shell had struck and burst. Stones and earth had been 
ilung on all sides in wildest confusion by the force of the 
explosion, and quite a trench had been ploughed up in the 

On returning from the battlefield we passed through 
Florida, a suburb of Johannesburg, and on reaching Marais- 
burg Mr. Hellman was good enough to give me two loaded 
cartridges, one a Lee-Metford and the other a Maxim (see 
illustration), which he had himself extracted from Dr. 
Jameson's bandolier, in Pretoria. 

I left Maraisburg that day and returned to Johannesburg, 
and from there proceeded to Pretoria en route to Pilgrim's 

In connection with the scare at Johannesburg, women and 
children, and even men, left (what seemed to them) the 
doomed city in hundreds ; many going to Capetown via 
Vereeniging, and others via the Netherlands and Natal Kail- 
ways to various centres in the latter Colony. 

A train crowded with these refugees left Charlestown 
(the Natal border township) at 10.15 A.M. on Tuesday, the 
31st December, 1895. At a point near Glencoe Junction, in 
Natal, at about 2.30 p.m., a Netherlands carriage left the 
rails and ran into the bank at a curve; the remainder of 
the Netherlands carriages ran on, completely somersaulting 
and smashing the woodwork to atoms. The result was 
appalling. Thirty-nine dead bodies were taken from the 


dSbris, while about the same number suffered frightful 
injuries. The dead were torn and disfigured by the flying 
splinters of wood and iron — in some cases beyond recog- 

It is beyond the powers of pen to describe the heart- 
rending scenes enacted on the Biggarsberg on that New 
Year's Eve. Never before in the history of South African 
railways has occurred such a catastrophe. May such never 
happen again ! 

New Year's Day, 1896, was ushered in with the rattle of 
Maxims and rifles and the crash of railway rolling stock, 
dealing death and destruction around, the saddest and 
gloomiest New Year's Day in the annals of South Africa. 

Subscqiwnt Events. 

The trial of the Eeformers took place in Pretoria on the 
24th April and following days, Judge Gregorowski, of the 
Orange Free State, having been especially appointed by 
the Transvaal Government to try the case. 

The names of the prisoners were : — Messrs. Lionel Phil- 
lips, George Farrar, Francis Khodes, John Hays Hammond, 
James Percy Fitzpatrick, Kobert Mitchell, Walter Edward 
Hudson, William St. John Carr, Fritz Mosenthal, William 
Thomas Frederic Davis, John Andrew Koger, Hans Sauer, 
David Peter Duirs, Alfred Peter Hillier, Andrew Mackie 
Niven, Charles Mullins, William Henry Somerset Bell, 
Edward Philip Solomon, Alfred Leonard Lawley, Victor 
Michel Clement, Charles Albert Garland, Frederic Bodney 
Lingham, Kobert George Flicker, Walter B. Davis, Philip 
du Bois, Henry Charles Hull, Douglas Flemmer Gilfillan, 
Herbert Evan Becher, Joseph Storey Curtis, Henry Brown 
Marshall, Charles Butters, Francis Henry Spencer, Thomas 
Mein, Alfred Brown, John Linda Williams, William 


1 1 . 





Hampden Brodie, Frederick Gray, Charles Llewellyn 
Anderson, William Beachey Head, John Mortimer Buck- 
land, Albert Raphael Goldring, Harold Fairbrother Strange, 
Edward Oliver Hutchinson, William Goddard, Solomon 
Barnato Joel, Abe Bailey, John George Auret, H. A. Bogers, 
Drummond Mils Dunbar, John Lace, Gordon Sandilands, 
Boland Bettington, Willem van Hulsteyn, Henry Bettel- 
heim, William Hosken, Max Langerman, Samuel Watson 
Jameson, George Bichards, Frederick H. Hamilton, James 
Weston Leonard, Charles Arthur Claud Tremeer, James 
Donaldson, A. Woolls Sampson. 

They were charged thus : — Firstly, that they wrongfully, 
unlawfully, and with a hostile intention to disturb, injure, 
or bring into danger the independence or safety of the 
South African Republic, treated, conspired, agreed with and 
urged Leander Starr Jameson, an alien, residing without the 
boundaries of the Republic, to come into the territory at 
the head of, and with, an armed and hostile troop, and to 
make a hostile invasion, and to march through to Johannes- 
burg. Secondly, they gave, or attempted to give, the afore- 
mentioned Jameson information as to the state of defences 
at Johannesburg, and had armed troops ready to assist, and 
sent assistance to him, and subsequently by seditious speeches 
endeavoured to persuade and induce the people there to 
stand by the afore-mentioned Jameson, in his hostile in- 
vasion, and had provided him with provisions, horses, and 
forage. Thirdly, for having distributed, or caused to be 
distributed, Maxims, guns, other weapons, arms and ammu- 
nition, and enrolled men, and formed them into military 
corps ; and for having erected earthworks and other fortifica- 
tions. Fourthly, for having arrogated to themselves the 
functions and powers belonging to the authorities of the 
South African Republic, and by violence and threats, com- 
pelled the police of Johannesburg to leave the public squares 
and streets, and for having formed their own police corps, 


and provided it with guns and other arms, and appointed 
as head of that corps, Andrew Trimble, and entrusted him 
with jurisdiction in police cases, in virtue whereof the 
afore-mentioned Andrew Trimble had passed sentence, and 
caused it to be carried out. 

Counsel for the prosecution were: Dr. Coster (State 
Attorney), Messrs. W. H. Lohman, F. E. T. Klause, and 
J. K. Hummel. For the defence: Mr. Wessels, aided by- 
Messrs. B. Sauer, A. Muller, and J. de Villiers. Mr. I. 
Kose-Innes, Q.C., watched the case on behalf of the Imperial 
Government; Mr. R. P. Solomon appeared to watch the 
case on behalf of Messrs. Phillips, Farrar, Hammond, and 
Fitzpatrick specially. Mr. Dixon also represented Mr. 
Herbert Becher specially. 

The pleas were: — Messrs. Phillips, Farrar, Rhodes, and 
Hammond guilty of High Treason on the first count. The 
others pleaded guilty to gekwetste majesteit (sedition), in that, 
they acknowledged wrongfully and unlawfully to have dis- 
tributed guns and other arms and ammunition, and enrolled 
persons and formed them into military corps, and for having 
erected earthworks and other fortifications, as set forth in 
the third count, but with no hostile intention to disturb the 
safety of the Republic. They also acknowledged having 
committed the acts as specified in the fourth count (with 
the exception of the removal of the State police and the 
entrusting of judicial decision to Andrew Trimble), but with 
no hostile intention to disturb the safety of the Republic. 

The trial caused great excitement in Johannesburg. Be- 
tween the chains it was the sole topic of discussion, and 
information was eagerly looked for from Pretoria. After 
the first intimation that a plea of guilty had been given, the 
most absurd rumours were floated, one being to the effect 
that the ringleaders had been heavily fined and banished 
from the country. 

There was an immense rush of work at the telegraph office, 


"J ~" 

i 4 ■ vlff 



1 ^ \ 3=) 

i : ■ - 
1 _ i ? 




1 ■;""■< 


and, in consequence, private messages from Pretoria were 
delayed for several hours. 

Mr. Wessels informed the Court that the accused wished 
to hand in several declarations which had been made and 
signed by them. Having handed in a Dutch copy of the 
original declarations made by Messrs. Lionel Phillips, George 
Farrar, Francis Rhodes, and John Hays Hammond, Mr. 
Wessels read the following translation in English : — 

"For a number of years endeavours have been made to obtain by 
constitutional means the redress of the grievances under which the 
Uitlander population labour. The new-comers asked for no more than is 
conceded to immigrants by all the other governments in South Africa, 
under which every man may on reasonable conditions become a citizen of 
the State, whilst here alone a policy is pursued by which the first settlers 
retain the exclusive right of government. 

Petitions supported by the signatures of some 40,000 men were 
ignored, and when it was found that we could not get a fair and reasonable 
hearing — that provisions already deemed obnoxious and unfair were being 
made more stringent, and that we were being debarred for ever from 
obtaining the rights which in other countries are freely granted, it was 
then realised that we would never get redress until we should make a 
demonstration of force to support our claims. 

Certain provision was made regarding arms and ammunition, and a 
letter was written to Dr. Jameson, in which he was asked to come to our 
aid, under certain circumstances. 

On December 26th, 1895, the Uitlanders' manifesto was published, 
and it was then our intention to make a final appeal for redress, at the 
public meeting which was to have been held on the 6th January. In 
consequence of matters that came to our knowledge, we sent, on Decem- 
ber 26th, Major Heany by train, via Kimberley, and Captain Holden 
across country, to forbid any movement on Dr. Jameson's part. 

On the afternoon of Monday, 30th December, we learnt, from Govern- 
ment sources, that Dr. Jameson had crossed the frontier. We assumed 
that he had come in good faith to help us, probably misled by some of 
the exaggerated rumours which were then in circulation. We were 
convinced, however, that the Government and the burghers would not in 
the excitement of the moment believe that we had not invited Dr. Jameson 
in, and there was no course open to us but to prepare to defend ourselves 
if attacked, and, at the same time, to spare no effort to effect a peaceful 
settlement. It became necessary to form an organisation for the protec- 
tion of the town and the maintenance of order; since, in the excitement 


caused by the news of Dr. Jameson's coming, serious disturbances would 
be likely to occur, and it was evident that the Government organisation 
could not deal with the people without serious risk of conflict. 

The Reform Committee was formed on Monday night, the 30th De- 
cember, and it was intended to include such men of influence as cared to 
associate themselves with the movement. The object with which it was 
formed is best shown in its first notice, viz. : — 

* Notice is hereby given that this Committee adheres to the National 
Union Manifesto, and reiterates its desire to maintain the independence of 
the Republic. The fact that rumours are in course of circulation to the 
effect that a force has crossed the Bechuanaland border renders it neces- 
sary to take active steps for the defence of Johannesburg, and preservation 
of order. The Committee earnestly desire that the inhabitants should 
refrain from taking any action which can be construed as an overt act of 
hostility against the Government. 

By order of the Committee, 

J. Percy Fttzpatbick.' 

The evidence taken at the preliminary examination will show that 
order was maintained by this Committee during a time of intense excite- 
ment, and through the action of the Committee no aggressive steps 
whatever were taken against the Government, but, on the coutrary, the 
property of the Government was protected, and its officials were not 
interfered with. 

It is our firm belief that had no such Committee been formed, the 
intense excitement caused by Dr. Jameson's entry would have brought 
about utter chaos in Johannesburg. 

It has been alleged that we armed natives. 

This is absolutely untrue, and is disposed of by the fact that during 
the crisis upwards of 20,000 white men applied to us for arms and we 
were unable to get them. 

On Tuesday morning, 31st December, we hoisted the flag of the 
South African Republic, and every man bound himself to maintain the 
Independence of the Republic. On the same day the Government 
withdrew its police voluntarily from the town, and we preserved perfect 

During the evening of that day, Messrs. Marais and Malan presented 
themselves as delegatea from the Executive Council. They came (to 
use their own words) to offer us the olive-branch, and they told us that if 
we would send a deputation to Pretoria to meet a Commission appointed 
by the Government, we should probably obtain * practically all that we 
asked for in the manifesto.' 

Our deputation met the Government Commission, consisting of Chief 
Justice Kotzl, Judge Ameshoff, and Mr. Kock, member of the Executive. 







■ ■ 



On our behalf our deputation frankly avowed knowledge of Jameson's 
presence on the border, and of his intention by arrangement with us to 
assist us in case of extremity. 

With the full knowledge of this arrangement, with the knowledge 
that we were in arms and agitating for our rights, the Government Com- 
mission handed to us a resolution by the Executive Council, of which the 
following is the purport : — 

'Sir Hercules Kobinson has offered his services, with a view to a 
peaceful settlement. The Government of the South African Republic has 
accepted his offer. Pending his arrival, no hostile steps will bo taken 
against Johannesburg, providing Johannesburg takes no hostile action 
against the Government in terms of a certain proclamation recently 
passed by the President, and the grievances will be earnestly considered.' 

We acted in perfect good faith with the Government, believing it to 
be their desire, as it was ours, to avert bloodshed, and believing it to be 
their intention to give us the redress which was implied in the ' earnest 
consideration of grievances.' 

There can be no better evidence of our earnest endeavour to repair 
what we regarded as a mistake on the part of Dr. Jameson than the 
following offer which our deputation authorised by resolution of the 
Committee laid before the Government Commission : — 

'If the Government will permit Dr. Jameson to come to Johannes- 
burg unmolested, the Committee will guarantee, with their persons, if 
necessary, that he will leave again peacefully as soon as possible/ 

We faithfully carried out the agreement that we should commit no act 
of hostility against the Government ; we ceased all active operations for 
the defence of the town against any attack, and we did everything in our 
power to prevent any collision with the burghers — an attempt in which 
our efforts were happily successful. On the telegraphic advice of the 
result of the interview of the deputation with the Government Commis- 
sion, we dispatched Mr. Lace, a member of our Committee, as an escort 
to the courier carrying High Commissioner's dispatch to Dr. Jameson, in 
order to assure ourselves that the dispatch would reach its destination. 

On the following Saturday, January 4th, the High Commissioner 
arrived in Pretoria. 

On Monday, the 6th, the following telegram was sent to us : — 

' Pretoria, 6tk Jan., 1896. 
Prom H.M. Aoent. To Reform Committee, Johannesburg. 

6th Jan. — I am directed to inform you that the High Commissioner 
met President, the Executive, and the Judges to-day. 

The President announced the decision of the Government to be that 
Johannesburg must lay down its arms unconditionally, as a condition 
precedent to a discussion and consideration of grievances. The High 


Commissioner endeavoured to obtain some indication of the steps which 
would be taken in the event of disarmament, but without success, it being 
intimated that the Government had nothing more to say on this subject 
than had already been embodied in the President's proclamation* 

The High Commissioner inquired whether any decision had been 
come to as regards the disposal of prisoners, and received a reply in the 
negative. The President said that as his burghers to the number of 
eight thousand had been collected, and could not be asked to remain 
indefinitely, he must request reply Yes or No to this ultimatum within 
twenty-four hours. Witness, J. db Wbt, KM. Agent.' 

On the following day, Sir Jacobus de Wet, H.M. Agent, met us in 
Committee, and handed to ub the following wire from EL £. the High 

Commissioner : — 

From High Commissioner, Pretoria. 

To Sir Jacobus db Wet, Johannesburg. 

Received, Johannesburg, 7.36 a.m., 7th Jan., 1896. Urgent. You 
should inform Johannesburg people that I consider that if they lay down 
their arms they will be acting loyally and honourably, and that if they 
do not comply with my request they forfeit all claim to sympathy from 
Her Majesty's Government and from British subjects throughout the 
world, as the lives of Jameson and prisoners are practically in their 

On this, and assurances given in Executive Council resolution, we 
laid down our arms on the 6th, 7th, and 8th January. On the 9th we 
were arrested, and have since been under arrest in Pretoria, a period of 
three and a half months. 

We admit responsibility for action taken by us. We frankly avowed 
it at the time of the negotiations with the Government when we were 
informed that the services of the High Commissioner had been accepted 
with a view to a peaceful settlement. 

We submit that we kept the faith in every detail in the arrangement 
with the Government, that we did all that was humanly possible to 
protect both the State and Dr. Jameson from the consequence of his 
action ; that we have committed no breach of the law which was not 
known to Government at the time that the earnest consideration of our 
grievances was promised. We can now only lay the bare facts before the 
Court and submit to the judgment that may be passed upon us." 

With reference to the remaining fifty-nine accused, Mr. 
Wessels read their declaration as follows : — 

" We have heard the statement made by Mr. Lionel Phillips, and we 




I I ! 


freely agree with what he has said as regards the objects with which the 
Reform Committee was formed. 

Since the formation of the Committee we have worked with these 
gentlemen, and the only object all had in view was to use their utmost 
endeavours to avert bloodshed, but at the same time to endeavour to 
obtain a redress of what we considered very serious grievances." 

Advocate Wessels also admitted, on behalf of Colonel 
Francis Rhodes, that he was "Toad," mentioned in one of 
the telegrams produced to the Court. 

The case in defence of the accused was opened by Mr. 
Wessel, the senior Counsel for the Reformers, in a speech 
which lasted exactly two hours. The learned Counsel urged 
that the milder form of punishment for gckwctstc majesteit 
be inflicted. The legislature of the country had defined the 
punishment with regard to the crime above referred to in 
the 33rd Article of the Grondwet. In that article it is 
enacted that persons who conspire with any foreign Power 
for the purpose of bringing the State into subjection to such 
Power, are liable to a fine of five hundred rixdollars (a rix- 
dollar is one shilling and sixpence) and banishment , and if 
he returned he is liable to the punishment of outlawry. 
Mr. Wessels contended that although the capital punishment 
for high treason was still in force in the Republic, according 
to the old Roman-Dutch Law, yet that law was now obsolete 
and could not be applied in this case. He referred to the 
past work of the four leaders in warm, eulogistic terms, 
and finished his brilliant speech by earnestly appealing for 
clemency. He assured the Court that if the sharp edge of 
the sword were used the result would be eternal unrest ; but 
that if the flat end be employed, the peace and safety of the 
South African Republic would be assured. 

The State Attorney then rose and stated that the law 
should be rigorously applied. The only punishment for 
high treason, as laid down by Van der Linden, was death 
and confiscation of property. 


He requested the Court to inflict the highest punishment 
on the accused, according to the old Roman-Dutch Law. 
This impassioned appeal, after Counsel for the defence had 
closed his case, caused quite a sensation. It was felt that 
the pressing for inflicting the capital sentence and confisca- 
tion of property was in acute contrast to the general plea of 
guilty on the part of all the accused, and many members of 
the Reform Committee regretted that the general plea had 
been made. 

The Judge then summed up the whole case. Everyone 
strained forward in anxiety to catch the learned Judge's 
remarks as he deliberately read his carefully prepared speech. 
At its close a hushed expectancy followed, and, amid a 
painful silence, Messrs. Lionel Phillips, George Farrar, John 
Hays Hammond, and Colonel F. Rhodes were conducted 
from among the body of their confreres to a dock brought in 
for that purpose. They were asked one by one whether 
they had anything to say why sentence of death should not 
be passed upon them, and they each replied " No/* 

The death sentence was then pronounced by the Judge 
upon Mr. Lionel Phillips, and, in turn, upon Mr. George 
Farrar, Colonel F. Rhodes, and Mr. John Hays Hammond, 
each prisoner taking up his position at the end of the dock 
nearest the Judge, and bowing reverently as the solemn 
words, " And may Almighty God have mercy on your soul," 
were pronounced. 

Many of the ladies present — relatives and Mends of the 
condemned — were most deeply affected, and had to be 
removed from the Court in a fainting condition. Mrs. 
Lionel Phillips especially was terribly upset at hearing the 

The prisoners themselves heard their penalty pronounced 
without flinching. 

On few such men in their station of life, or for such an 
offence, has the extreme penalty of the law been pronounced 


in recent times, and the feeling of all present was that the 
occasion was both an exceptional and painful experience. 

After the four condemned had been removed from the 
dock, the Judge pronounced sentence on the remaining fifty- 
nine. The sentence of the Court upon each of these was two 
years' imprisonment, together with a fine of £2000, with 
three years' banishment from the State after the period of 
incarceration, the alternative of the fine being another year's 

The prisoners were then brought out, and, forming them- 
selves into line four and five abreast, were escorted to the 
Pretoria Gaol under a strong detachment of the State 
artillery. While en route the majority of them seized the 
opportunity of regaling themselves with the fragrant weed. 
Members of the artillery on foot surrounded the column of 
prisoners, the mounted men of the corps being on the 

The whole made up an imposing cavalcade, and the scene 
was, perhaps, the most unique spectacle ever witnessed in 

The news regarding the severity of the sentences was 
received in Johannesburg with the greatest excitement and 
concern, and the scene between the chains was one that has 
not been paralleled since the late crisis. 

A meeting of the members of the Stock Exchange was 
hurriedly summoned, when it was resolved to close the 
Exchange, and a cablegram was at once dispatched to the 
London Stock Exchange soliciting the assistance of the 
members to exert their influence in trying to obtain a 
mitigation of the heavy sentences passed upon the Eeform 
Committee. All the places of amusement and business 
houses were closed. 

Mr. B. I. Barnato, acting in his capacity of life Governor 
of the De Beers Consolidated Mine, Kimberley, telegraphed 
to the head office, instructing the secretary to close down 


the diamond mines for one day, as a mark of sympathy 
with the condemned prisoners in Pretoria. Mr. Barnato 
also threatened to close down all mining properties, and 
sell out all the landed properties belonging to the firm, a 
threat, I am happy to state, which was never carried into 
effect; had it been, the consequences would have been 
terrible : a large number of workmen would have been thrown 
out of employment, and the gold production of the Band 
materially decreased, thus reducing, though indirectly, the 
revenue of the State. 

Mr. Barnato, although highly indignant at the severity of 
the sentences, soon saw that to pursue such a course would 
tend to deter rather than attain his ends, and, grasping the 
gravity of the situation, took a more sensible and rational 
view, and set to work in right earnest by interviewing the 
President and other high officials of the State, in order to 
obtain the release of his friends ; indeed (be it to his credit), 
he left no stone unturned until he had gained his heart's 
desire. His efforts were at last crowned with success, and, 
no man gripped the hands of the Beformers (upon their 
discharge) with a bigger heart, or with more thorough 
genuineness, than Mr. B. I. Barnato. Well might he be 
banqueted and held in honour; for, chiefly through his 
exertions, the members of the late Beform Committee owe 
their liberty of to-day. 

Much indignation and uneasiness were evinced in Kim- 
berley, Durban, Natal, and Port Elizabeth ; and Maritzbuig, 
following the example of Johannesburg, closed the Stock 
Exchange as a mark of sympathy. 

Petitions from every part of South Africa were signed, 
praying the Government and Executive to exercise their 
prerogative of mercy and commute the death sentence. This 
was accordingly done. The following morning (April 29th) 
at 9.30 a.m., the Executive met and decided not to carry out 
the capital sentence. 


Petitions still flowed rapidly in, and it is only fair to mention 
that the burghers were as anxious as anybody to obtain a further 
mitigation of punishment, and freely signedtheir names. 

The commuted sentence on the four leaders was imprison- 
ment for fifteen years and banishment for life. 

In the meantime, active agitation had been going on for a 
general commutation of sentences passed on the remainder of 
the prisoners. 

The feeling being that this was an opportunity for the 
display of mercy, and this feeling was accentuated by the 
sad suicide of Mr. Frederick Gray (while in gaol), whose 
mind had become quite unhinged, through the terrible strain 
the trial had involved, and the hardships of piison life. 

On the 30th May, 1896, fifty-six of the Reformers then 
in the Pretoria Goal (exclusive of the four leaders) were 
liberated, on the payment of a fine of £2000 each, and a 
written guarantee of abstention from political intrigue on 
pain of banishment from the State. The other two (Messrs. 
Sampson and Davis) refused to sign the guarantee of absten- 
tion from politics, and consequently remained in gaol. They 
were subsequently unconditionally pardoned by President 
Kruger, on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's 
Diamond Jubilee, 1897. 

Amongst those present at the prison gates, to greet the 
released Reformers, was the Right Rev. the Bishop of 
Pretoria, who proposed three cheers for the President, which 
was heartily and vociferously taken up by the crowd. 

The agitation for a further mitigation of the sentence 
passed on the four leaders was by no means at an end. 
Petition after petition still poured in upon the Government, 
until it was resolved by the two English colonies to send a 
deputation to Pretoria of all Mayors of boroughs (numbering 
nearly 200), and to present the petitions in person to the 
Government. Before, however, they were presented, and 
whilst the Mayoral deputation was in Pretoria, Messrs. Lionel 



Phillips, George Farrar, John Hays Hammond, and Colonel 
Francis Rhodes, on the 11th June, emerged from the prison 
gates, free men, after paying a fine of £25,000 each, and 
signing a declaration similar to that signed by their confreres. 
Colonel Rhodes, however, as an officer of the Imperial 
Government, declined to give such a pledge ; and, after the 
payment of the £25,000, was escorted to the border of the 
Republic at Mafeking, and at once proceeded to the assist- 
ance of the Chartered forces then at wax with the insurgent 

Matabele and Mashona. 


The trial of Dr. Jameson and his five companions concerned 
in the raid upon the Transvaal was opened on Monday, the 
20th July, 1896, before Lord Russell, Mr. Baron Pollock, 
and Mr. Justice Hawkins, in the Court of the Lord Chief 

The defendants were indicted under the Foreign Enlistment 
Act, and their names were: Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, 
Major Sir John Christopher Willoughby, Colonel the Hon. 
Henry Frederick White, Colonel Raleigh Grey, Major the 
Hon. Eobert White, and Major the Hon. Charles John 

The Attorney-General (Sir Richard Webster), the Solicitor- 
General (Sir R. B. Finlay), Mr. Sutton, Mr. C. Matthews, 
Mr. Horace Avory, and Mr. Rawlinson appeared for the 
prosecution; Sir Edward Clarke, Q.C., Mr. Carson, Q.C., 
Mr. C. F. Gill, Mr. A. Lyttleton, and Mr. Howard Spensley, 
junior, for the defendants Jameson and Willoughby, H. F. 
White, and R. White ; and Sir F. Lock wood, Q.C., Mr. J. P. 
Wallis, and Mr. J. Roskill for the defendants Grey and 
Coventry. Mr. A. Cohen, Q.C., Mr. Saunders, and Mr. Felix 
Cassel held a watching brief on behalf of the South African 

Before the special jury was sworn, Sir Edward Clarke 
moved that the indictment be quashed on technical grounds, 

'Zip i 

>7^ ■». '- v ■• 5v 





that the Enlistment Act did not apply to British Bechuana- 
land, giving authorities and precedents. 

He further contended that no force was fitted out at 
Mafeking, and that there was no idea of any hostile intent 
against a foreign State, and that the Reformers' appeal for 
aid justified Dr. Jameson. His speech lasted for two hours. 

Sir Eichard Webster replied, urging that the indictment 
was perfectly in order. He admitted that it was necessary 
to prove that the Act was in force at the time and at the 
place where the offences were committed, but this was suffi- 
ciently implied in the general terms of the indictment. He 
maintained that both Mafeking and Pitsani were under British 
law, and he ridiculed the idea of the raid being of a peaceful 
character. Evidence, he said, showed that it was premeditated. 

The Lord Chief Justice delivered judgment the following 
day on the objections to the indictment raised by Sir Edward 
Clarke He said thev had come to the conclusion that none 
of the objections applied to the indictment as a whole, or to 
any count in the indictment. 

It was said, first, that it was not stated that the place in 
which it was alleged the illegal preparations for the expedi- 
tion had taken place was within Her Majesty's dominions in 
which the Act was in operation. lit? could not doubt that 
the language of the indictment stated reasonably and 
intelligently that the defendants were engaged in a place 
within Her Majesty's dominions in which the Act of 1870 
was in operation ; and were engaged in the preparation of an 
expedition which would be an offence against the law. The 
second objection was, that the counts were bad because they did 
not state the fact of the proclamation of the Act. He thought 
that that was an objection which was not valid. Further, 
it was not necessary to state that the defendants were 
subjects of the Queen. They held that the application for 
quashing the indictment must be refused. Mr. Baron 
Pollock and Mr. Justice Hawkins concurred. 


The jury was then sworn, and Mr. Avory formally opened 
the pleadings, alleging that the defendants, in the months 
of November and December, 1895, were unlawfully engaged 
in the preparation of a military expedition to proceed against 
the dominions of a friendly State — to wit, the South African 
Republic; in assisting and fitting out the expedition, and 
also that they were unlawfully employed in various capacities 
in the expedition. To these charges they had pleaded " Not 

Sir Richard Webster then proceeded to open the case on 
behalf of the Crown. He said that it would be necessary to 
explain the relations of Her Majesty's Government to the 
South African Republic. These relations were controlled by 
conventions and treaties, the bearing of which was familiar, 
and was, no doubt, known to the defendants. The territory 
known as the Transvaal, or South African Republic, had, 
after certain chequered incidents in its history, been annexed 
to Her Majesty's dominions, and by the Convention of 
April 5th, 1881, Her Majesty's Commissioners, acting on 
behalf of Her Majesty, undertook to guarantee complete 
self-government to the Transvaal, subject to the suzerainty 
of the Queen, and subject to certain other conditions into 
which he need not go. The important point the jury had 
to remember was, that from July, 1881, the South African 
Republic was to have complete self-government, and that 
was guaranteed on behalf of the Queen. On October 29th, 
1889, a company was incorporated— the British South Africa 
Company — to which a charter was granted by the Queen. 

The defendants were all gentlemen of high position in 
connection with the Chartered Company or the Bechuana- 
land Border Police, and must have known, and certainly did 
know, of the relations between Her Majesty's Government 
and the South African Republic. Coming to his narrative 
as to what occurred in November and December, 1895, Sir 
R. Webster proceeded to describe the "raid," from the 


departure of the two columns from Mafeking and Pitsani 
to the defeat at Krugersdorp. A man observed the party 
cross the border, and on informing Major White that he 
should report what was going on, met with the retort, " You 
can do what you like. The wires are cut." And their Lord- 
ships would see that the wires were cut subsequent to the 
closing of the telegraph office on that (Sunday) morning, 
December 29th, and undoubtedly they were cut by direction 
of those concerned in this expedition. Counsel argued that 
beyond question the expedition was deliberately planned in 
secrecy with the intention of proceeding from Mafeking for 
the purpose of conducting military operations against the 
Transvaal Eepublic, He next brought forward certain facts 
and documents to show that Mafeking and Pitsani were 
within British dominions. No one could over-estimate the 
enormous responsibility which rested on the law officers in 
this case, but by the weight of evidence which he should 
submit to the Court he should ask their Lordships to say that 
an unlawful expedition had been fitted out to make war on 
a friendly State in the manner he had just indicated. 

After the witnesses had given evidence the Lord Chief 
Justice commenced his summing-up. 

In reviewing the evidence of the Transvaalers his Lordship 
said: — 

" The men, subjects of the Transvaal, who gave evidence before you, 
gave their evidence without nny kind of restraint, without any animus, 
and in a perfectly straightforward manner." 

Referring to the letter of invitation said to have been 

addressed to Dr. Jameson, he said : — 

" This letter speaks of no oppression contrary to the law ; it spoke of 
no injustice in not carrying out the law. A large number of Uitlanders 
had not got the franchise, had not got a fair share in the making of the 
laws of the country of their adoption, and which their number, their 
wealth, and their property interest entitled them to ; but the letter pointed 
to no emergency, pointed to no threat of massacre, still less of a threat of 
attack upon the women and children. Assuming the letter set forth real 
grievances, ought it to have been addressed to the heads of a trading 


company? Her Majesty had her representatives in the Transvaal. An 
appeal to the latter would have been intelligible, bat not one to 
Dr. Jameson." 

Dealing with Dr. Jameson's protest that they were only 
attempting to obtain ordinary political rights for the people 
of Johannesburg, he asked with much emotion, and his voice 
tremulous with feeling — 

" What had Dr. Jameson to do with political rights, or with the settlers 
on the Rand ? " 

In concluding his summing-up, Lord Eussell said it was 
obvious that Dr. Jameson and the others were misinformed 
as to the attitude and temper of the people of Johannesburg. 
He expected at least two thousand armed men to assist him. 

His Lordship next reviewed the documents and telegrams 
presented in the case, and closed by putting four questions 
before the jury : — 

Firstly, were the defendants engaged in the preparation of a 
military expedition against a friendly State ? 

Secondly, did all the defendants assist in the preparation of 
the expedition, and did they aid and abet in its furtherance ? 

Thirdly, were the defendants, or any of them, employed in 
any capacity in the expedition ? 

Fourthly, with regard to Pitsani, did the Queen exercise 
dominion in that district in which it was situated ? 

The jury retired to consider their verdict. 

On their return, after seventy minutes absence, the foreman 
said the jury found all the questions against the defendants. 

The Lord Chief Justice then directed the jury to return a 
verdict of guilty on all the counts. 

The foreman explained that the jury desired to add a rider 
to their verdict, having reference to the provocation given by 
the alarmist statements issued from Johannesburg. 

Sir Edward Clarke rose, but the Lord Chief Justice refused 
to allow him to interpose between himself and the jury. 

The foreman said, although the jury had answered the 


{Prm* a ptotograyk by I'. U.J. 




l.*l II 


questions in the affirmative, they could not agree as to a 
verdict of guilty or not guilty. 

The Lord Chief Justice said they had already given a 
verdict of guilty. 

Sir Edward Clarke, after making a motion to stay judg- 
ment, permitted judgment to be given without protest. 

The Lord Chief Justice then pronounced the sentence of 
the Court as follows : — 

Dr. Jameson to fifteen months 1 imprisonment ; Colonel Sir 
John Willoughby to ten months' ; Major White to seven 
months' ; Colonel Grey, Major Coventry, and Colonel White 
to five months' each — all without hard labour. 

On the conclusion of the trial Dr. Jameson and his fellow- 
prisoners took leave of their friends in the ante-room of the 

The arrangements for their removal were not completed 
till 8 o'clock. When these were at length finished, the 
prisoners and their escort tried to leave quietly by a side 
exit, but an enormous crowd quickly gathered. The prisoners 
were received with wild cheering, hats and handkerchiefs were 
waved, and many shook Dr. Jameson by the hand. 

Mr. Hawksley, Solicitor of the Chartered Company, Dr. 
Harris, and Lord Annaly accompanied Dr. Jameson in the 
cab to Hollo way Prison. 

Dr. Jameson remarked to a friend after judgment had 
been pronounced : " Well, it might have been worse." 

While in Holloway Prison all the prisoners were treated as 
first-class misdemeanants; but they were afterwards transferred 
to Wormwood Scrubbs and treated as ordinary prisoners. 

Major Coventry was placed in the infirmary, owing to ill- 

All felt their position most keenly. They were shaved, 
according to the regulations, and put in prison garb. 

Lord Loch interviewed Dr. Jameson in gaol on the 30th 


The next day, acting on the advice of the Home Secretary, 
the Queen decided to extend her clemency to Dr. Jameson 
and his fellow-prisoners, and grant them the treatment of 
first-class misdemeanants. 

They accordingly returned to Holloway the same day. 

So finishes the great drama of the Uitlande * movement 
of 1896. The result, so far, has been to strengthen the 
Government of the South African Republic, not only 
pecuniarily, but also in power and prestige ; and the 
President, by his crowning act of mercy, has earned the 
sobriquet of Mr. Barnato, who described him as " the Grand 
Old Man of the South African Republic.'* 

The Black List of 1896, as affecting South Africa. 

1. The Johannesburg Crisis (the Jameson Raid). 

2. The Fatal Railway Disaster at Glencoe Junction (forty 

3. The Dynamite Disaster at Fordsburg (some hundreds 

4. The Matabele Outbreak (hundreds of Europeans mas- 
sacred by Natives). 

5. The Rinderpest (thousands of cattle have died and are 

6. The Drummond Castle wrecked (250 drowned). 

7. Locust Plague. 

8. Drought. 

Whatever may be in store in the future, I trust that the 
prayers offered in all the churches and places of worship, 
throughout the Transvaal, on the Day of Humiliation (June 
7th, 1896), may be heard, and that the Divine vengeance may 
be stayed. 







^^^S^SS^ ° n z